IAAF to investigate new Russia track and field doping claims
MOSCOW (AP) - The IAAF said Sunday it will investigate claims that Russia is flouting demands for anti-doping reforms as it seeks readmission to world track and field in time for August’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
The IAAF said the taskforce monitoring Russia during its suspension will examine the allegations from German TV broadcaster ARD and that taskforce leader Rune Andersen was given advance access to related audio and video materials.
“The taskforce will look carefully into the matters raised by the latest documentaries, including discussing them with representatives of (the Russian track and field federation,” the IAAF said in an e-mailed statement.
An excerpt from an ARD documentary to be broadcast Sunday included footage apparently showing a Russian coach, Vladimir Mokhnev, continuing to train top Russian athletes despite being suspended from doing so by the IAAF.
Mokhnev was accused in a World Anti-Doping Agency commission’s report in November of providing banned substances to athletes who trained with him.
WADA said it was also taking an interest in Sunday’s film.
“WADA is aware of the ARD documentary to be aired later today and will watch the program with interest,” spokesman Ben Nichols told The Associated Press in e-mailed comments.
“If there are matters to be pursued as a result, we will have no hesitation in doing so.”
A previous ARD documentary in December 2014 sparked the WADA commission investigation that found evidence of widespread, state-sponsored doping in Russia. Last November, the IAAF banned Russia from international track and field as a result.
Russia’s sports minister, Vitaly Mutko, was critical of ARD ahead of Sunday’s broadcast, saying Russia had reformed and that a new documentary seemed unnecessary.
“It’s strange that these films continue,” he told Russia’s state Tass news agency. “That leads to the thought that it’s an attempt to exert influence on organizations which must take important decisions.”