RUSADA chief suggests drastic changes in Russian athletics

Moscow (AFP) –


Yury Ganus, the head of Russia's Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) suggested Monday some drastic changes in the country's athletics federation (ARAF) organisation and in the coaching staff of the national athletics squad.

In a letter that the RUSADA chief sent to Stanislav Pozdnyakov, the president of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC), Ganus stressed that the measures he suggested should be taken immediately to ensure the country's athletes full participation in the 2020 Olympics.

Among the measures that RUSADA boss proposed were the discharge of the country's athletics federation's top officials, including its president Dmitry Shlyakhtin, and all of the national team athletics coaching staff.

"The continuation of the ARAF work in its current condition leaves little chances for the the country's athletes to perform at the 2020 Olympics without any restrictions," Ganus wrote.

"With the time remaining before the start of the Tokyo Olympics quickly running out there is plenty of work to do in co-operation with (the international athletics ruling body) IAAF to reorganise the athletics federation."

Last year the International Olympic Committee (IOC) banned Russia from participation in the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, but some of the country's athletes with no history of doping were allowed to compete as neutrals.

Ganus also suggested creating an international work group consisting of the country's athletics specialists who have never been linked with doping and the internationanl experts to boost the ARAF reinstatement as IAAF member.

The IAAF suspended Russian athletics federation in November 2015 after the eruption of a vast state-sponsored doping scandal.

RUSADA was also suspended by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

Last year's WADA decision to reinstate RUSADA caused a wave of anger from the number of sports officials, federations and athletes around the world.

IAAF meanwhile uphold the ban on Russian athletes earlier this year.

Rune Andersen, head of the IAAF doping task force, said two issues remained unresolved -- the examination of data received from the Moscow anti-doping laboratory and the issue of outstanding costs being sought from Russia because of the scandal.

"Two key issues remain outstanding," said Andersen at a press conference in Doha in March. "These need to be resolved."