Russia look likely to spend August's World Athletics Championships out in the cold after 7 of the country's athletes were found working with banned trainer, Vladimir Kazarin.
Earlier today, Russian 400m runner Artyom Denmukhametov was given a provisional ban by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) for working with Kazarin. Kazarin was banned for life after a 2015 report commissioned by WADA found he'd given athletes performance-enhancing drugs. WADA rules dictate that athletes are not allowed receive training, strategy, nutritional or medical advice from coaches or medical staff serving doping bans.
Deepening Russia's woes still further, RUSADA revealed today that a total of 7 athletes were found to be working with Kazarin over a five-month period in Kyrgyzstan. Their latest release claims they carried out three trips to Kyrgyzstan to verify information about a possible violation of anti-doping rules.
The AIU say that Denmukhametov was banned on the basis of being found to have been associated with Kazarin. RUSADA revealed that targeted testing was carried out during their investigation in Kyrgyzstan which resulted in one athlete being disqualified for 4-years. The ban is for the presence of a prohibited substance in an athlete's sample.
RUSADA say they have today "notified the All-Russian Athletics Federation about the possible fact of prohibited cooperation of athletes." Due to the results of their investigations, they've opened a number of cases on possible anti-doping violations. They've also send the relevant data to WADA and the IAAF.
It's another blot on Russia's already spoiled copybook, with Denmukhametov's suspension coming weeks after Reuters revealed that another two banned Russian coaches - Valery Volkov and Vladimir Mokhnev - were still working with athletes.
Meanwhile, Doctor Sergei Portugalov, formerly the Russian Athletics Federation's chief medical officer has been doling out advice on nutrition and training in lectures at a Moscow gym. Portugalov is also serving a ban.
The Russian Athletics Federation has been suspended since the 2015 WADA-commissioned McLaren Report into state-sponsored doping in the country.
The new revelations will do little to convince WADA and the IAAF that Russia deserve re admittance ahead of August's World Athletics Championships in Doha.
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