PARIS (AP) - An internal IAAF note, dated Dec. 5, 2011, and marked “confidential,” divided Russian athletes suspected of blood doping into two categories.
Elite, likely medal winners at the 2012 London Olympics whose disciplinary proceedings would, it said, have to be handled “in strict conformity” with the governing body’s rules and a second group of lower-level athletes who could be punished in a “rapid and discreet” manner, without informing the public, contrary to IAAF practice and World Anti-Doping Agency rules.
The note named 10 second-tier athletes eligible for the hush-hush treatment. The IAAF says the proposal - which it said came from its anti-doping director at the time - was not put into practice.
Six of the athletes were subsequently banned.
Tatyana Mineeva, race walker, 2008 junior world champion. Russian athletics federation ARAF announced two-year ban on Dec. 14, 2012; ban also published by the IAAF. Ban expired Nov. 16, 2014.
Svetlana Klyuka, middle-distance runner. ARAF announced two-year ban in July 2012; ban published by IAAF. Expired Feb. 9, 2014.
Inga Abitova, long-distance runner, 2006 European champion over 10,000 meters. ARAF announced two-year ban on Nov. 7, 2012; published by IAAF. Expired Oct. 10, 2014.
Tatyana Andrianova, middle distance. The IAAF only announced ban in December of last year, not for blood doping but for testing positive for the banned steroid stanozolol when winning bronze in the 800 meters at the 2005 world championships. Two-year ban expires Sept. 21, 2017.
Mikhail Lemaev, marathon. ARAF announced two-year ban in February 2013; ban also published by IAAF. Expired Jan. 29, 2015.
Olesya Syreva, distance runner, was European indoor silver medalist over 3,000 meters. ARAF announced two-year ban in February 2013; ban published by IAAF. Expired Jan. 31, 2015.
No bans were announced for the other four.
One of them was Yevgenia Zolotova, middle distance. A WADA-ordered probe of Russian doping last November labelled Zolotova’s case as “suspicious.” It said three IAAF blood-screening experts concluded that the athlete’s abnormal readings were either “suspicious for doping” and needed further investigation or were “likely the result of the use of a prohibited substance or method, specifically blood manipulation with erythropoietin use in the vicinity of major competitions.” Erythropoietin, or EPO, is a banned blood-booster. The probe recommended that WADA follow up Zolotova’s case with the IAAF.
The IAAF says there was nothing fishy about Zolotova’s case, and that the external blood experts who must be consulted in such instances simply didn’t agree on whether the athlete’s abnormal readings proved doping.
Another of the four was Lydia Grigoryeva, the Boston marathon winner in 2007.
IAAF spokesman Chris Turner said the governing body has pursued a blood-passport case against her and her sanction “is about to be concluded and will be published accordingly.”
AP Sports Writer James Ellingworth in Moscow contributed.
Copyright © 2023 The Washington Times, LLC.