Russian doping scandal

Calls to probe Kenya and Ethiopia next

Russian Liliya Shobukhova finishing second in the London Marathon in 2011. While she has been stripped of her 2010 London and 2009, 2010 and 2011 Chicago titles, she was in late August allowed to compete again after her doping ban ended early for ass
Russian Liliya Shobukhova finishing second in the London Marathon in 2011. While she has been stripped of her 2010 London and 2009, 2010 and 2011 Chicago titles, she was in late August allowed to compete again after her doping ban ended early for assisting in other investigations. But she is still banned for life from taking part in the six World Marathon Majors.PHOTO: REUTERS

Amid demands for Russia to be suspended, Diack quits IOC position

MOSCOW • As the fallout from World Anti-Doping Agency's (Wada) explosive report on state-sponsored doping continues, there are fears that the Russian athletics scandal could widen to include other countries.

The whistle-blower who sparked the global investigation has called for the sport's authorities to also look at countries such as Kenya and Ethiopia.

Andrey Baranov, a Russian sports agent, wrote a signed deposition to world athletics' governing body IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations) in April 2014 outlining bribery and extortion related to doping in Russian athletics.


  • DEC 3, 2014: German documentary by ARD accuses Russia of funding a comprehensive "East German-style" doping programme for athletes that has been covered up at national and international levels.

    DEC 10: The Guardian reports on questions for son of Lamine Diack , the president of the world governing body of athletics. Papa Massata Diack, an IAAF marketing consultant , appeared to request a payment of US$5 million (S$7 million) in the course of Doha's failed bid to win the right to host the 2017 world championships, according to leaked e-mail messages.

    DEC 11: Papa Massata Diack; Valentin Balakhnichev, president of the Russian athletics federation and IAAF treasurer; and Dr Gabriel Dolle, IAAF's director of medical and anti-doping department, all leave their posts as corruption and doping allegations are investigated by IAAF's ethics commission.

    DEC 16: It is announced that former Wada president Dick Pound will investigate the Russia claims with a three-man independent panel.

    JAN 23: The Russian athletics head coach, Valentin Maslakov, offers to resign after doping revelations.

    FEB 16: Diack says he is "shocked" and "disturbed" by the doping "crisis" within athletics.

    APRIL 21: Diack says Russia will not be banned from future Games following allegations of systematic doping.

    AUG 2: The Sunday Times and ARD reveal series of doping allegations after blood data leak from IAAF. Apparently, a third of medals, including 55 golds, in endurance events at Olympics and world championships between 2001 and 2012 were won by athletes who recorded suspicious tests.

    AUG 4: Sebastian Coe says allegations of doping and cover-ups are a "declaration of war".

    AUG 7: Liliya Shobukhova is stripped of London Marathon title over doping. Wada announces it will investigate Sunday Times and ARD doping claims.

    AUG 9: The Sunday Times alleges that seven London Marathon winners in 12 years are under doping suspicion.

    AUG 19: Coe elected as IAAF president.

    AUG 20: Diack insists 99 per cent of athletes are clean.

    NOV 4: Diack under investigation by French police for allegedly taking bribes to cover up doping.

    NOV 9: Wada's independent commission recommends Russia should be banned from athletics competition.

    NOV 10: Diack resigns as president of the International Athletics Foundation. Grigory Rodchenkov, head of Russia's anti-doping laboratory, resigns.

    YESTERDAY: Diack resigns as International Olympic Committee honorary member.


It led to the bombshell report published on Monday by an independent commission of Wada that called for the country to be suspended from the sport.

But Baranov said: "It is wrong just to be focusing on Russia.

"There should be a similar investigation into countries like Kenya and Ethiopia too.

"Their top athletes are earning far more than the Russians.

"Yet, their levels of testing are very limited."

Kenya has long faced accusations of doping and Dick Pound, the former Wada president who led the independent commission, said the country "has a real problem and has been very slow to acknowledge it".

The chairman of Kenya's Olympic committee warned on Tuesday that the country needed to act swiftly to prevent its athletes being banned at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Several Kenyans have failed doping tests in recent years, staining the reputation of the east African country whose middle and long-distance runners have been among some of the globe's most dominant athletes.

Wada last week threatened Kenya with a four-year ban unless it improved its efforts to catch cheats.

But Kipchoge Keino, a Kenyan running great and chairman of the Kenyan Olympic Committee, said government officials had shown little stomach to go after offenders.

"I have personally tried to reach government officials to agree on how to act on this menace but I don't get appointments.

"I make calls that are unanswered," the 75-year-old two-time Olympic champion said.

The German TV documentary that also triggered the Wada investigation claimed that a third of the 146 world and Olympic medals awarded between 2001 and the 2012 London Olympics - featuring 18 Kenyans - were tainted by suspicions of doping.

For now, however, it is Russia which is feeling the heat.

Russia's sports minister Vitaly Mutko is expected to provide an answer to Wada's allegations against the country's anti-doping agency Rusada today.

The Wada-led commission said Rusada doping control officers had "routinely" accepted bribes from athletes to ensure their doping tests would be found negative, among other damning findings.

The head of Russia's anti-doping laboratory, Grigory Rodchenkov, resigned late on Tuesday, hours after his laboratory was suspended over the Wada allegations.

Wada accused him of being at the heart of a scheme to cover up widespread use of illegal drugs among the Russian athletes, including deliberately destroying the positive test samples.

The crisis that is engulfing athletics, long viewed as the flagship of the Olympic Games, comes hot on the heels of a major corruption scandal at world football's governing body Fifa and as cycling is still reeling from the Lance Armstrong doping scandal .

Yesterday, it also saw shamed former IAAF president Lamine Diack resign from his position on the International Olympic Committee (IOC), where he had served as an honorary member, it said.

The 82-year-old had been provisionally suspended by the IOC on Tuesday, when he also quit his position as head of the International Athletics Foundation, a Monaco-based charity best known for its work with the year-end world athletics gala in Monte Carlo.

Diack became an honorary member of the committee in 2013.

The Senegalese served as head of IAAF for 16 years until August, when he was replaced by Sebastian Coe. He was arrested by French investigators and charged with corruption last week amid allegations that he took bribes to cover up doping cases, principally in Russia.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 12, 2015, with the headline 'Calls to probe Kenya and Ethiopia next'. Print Edition | Subscribe