By Associated Press - Wednesday, July 15, 2015

MOSCOW (AP) - Russian athletics bosses suspended the country’s top race-walking coach Wednesday after anti-doping authorities placed him under investigation.

In recent years, at least 20 Russian walkers who trained under national team head coach Viktor Chegin have been banned for doping offences. In January, three Russian Olympic champion walkers from Chegin’s team were banned.

The Rusada anti-doping agency said Wednesday he was suspected of possessing banned substances and either providing or attempting to provide them to athletes.

The Russian athletics federation’s acting president Vadim Zelichenok said his organization had now suspended Chegin from coaching.

“Athletes will not be allowed to work with Chegin, or otherwise they come under sanctions,” he said in comments reported by Russian agency R-Sport.

Chegin is already under investigation by track and field’s world governing body, the IAAF, whose senior anti-doping manager Thomas Capdevielle said in February he was “confident” Chegin would be sanctioned.

The IAAF and the World Anti-Doping Agency are also investigating Russian athletics as a whole over allegations of systematic doping. Until now, Chegin has been free to continue training Russian athletes for this year’s world championships and the 2016 Olympics.

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