IAAF probes banned Russian walker listed as coach
MOSCOW (AP) — The IAAF is investigating why a Russian race-walker serving a life ban for doping is listed as a coach at Russia’s national training center.
Former European junior champion Sergei Morozov was banned for life in 2012 for a second doping offense, but is listed as a coach on the website of the Olympic Training Center for Russian walkers in the city of Saransk.
Under the terms of his ban, he is not allowed to work in athletics in any capacity.
However, photographs posted online appear to show Morozov working with the Russian team at two competitions in the past year.
Asked about Morozov, International Association of Athletics Federations spokesman Nick Davies told The Associated Press that the organization would “obviously” investigate.
Morozov beat the then-world record for the 20-kilometer walk in 2008, but his time was not ratified because of a lack of drug-testing at the race.
Later that year, Morozov tested positive for the banned blood-boosting substance EPO. The same substance was found in his system again in 2012, prompting a lifetime ban.
On Wednesday, Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said the Saransk training center’s director, former Olympic women’s champion Olga Kaniskina, would be replaced after she became one of five Russian walkers banned for doping.
Kaniskina could receive further punishment as the IAAF investigates why she was given the job last month, despite being on a provisional suspension at the time.
Her predecessor as director of the center, Viktor Kolesnikov, was suspended for four years in November after he was found in possession of banned substances.
Head coach Viktor Chegin remains in his post despite at least 20 of his athletes having been banned for doping.
The five Russian walkers banned Tuesday, who include three Olympic gold medalists, were sanctioned by the Russian anti-doping agency in a controversial decision that saw results from the 2009 and 2011 world championships annulled, but did not affect any Olympic medals.
Australian walker Jared Tallent, who finished second behind one of the banned Russians, Sergei Kirdyapkin, in the Olympics 50K race in 2012, told The Associated Press on Wednesday that he wants the IAAF and the World Anti-Doping Agency to appeal the Russian ruling, which he branded “ridiculous.”
Even before Tuesday’s bans, the Russian anti-doping agency and athletics federation were already facing accusations of involvement in systematic doping.
A documentary broadcast by German TV last month featured testimony from Russian athletes and a former anti-doping official that Russians coaches helped athletes to dope and that positive tests were routinely covered up.
The IAAF and WADA are investigating those accusations.