RUSAF official Silnov suspended after new doping cover-up allegations
RUSAF, the governing body of Russian athletics, has suspended Andrei Silnov, its first vice-president, following new allegations that Russian athletics officials helped cover up a doping offence by top high jumper Danil Lysenko last year.
The IAAF, the sport’s world governing body, this week decided to maintain the long-running suspension of RUSAF itself in the wake of the allegations.
Silnov, a gold medallist in the high jump at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, is facing a hearing on Friday for a “possible violation of anti-doping rules,” but RUSAF has declined to reveal the nature of the violation.
The IAAF said this week that Rune Andersen, the independent chairman of an IAAF taskforce investigating doping and corruption allegations against RUSAF, “noted recent allegations that RUSAF officials were involved in an attempt to cover up a doping offence by one of their athletes and that banned coaches and a banned doctor continue to work with athletes.”
Andersen added: “That calls into question whether RUSAF is able to enforce doping bans, and whether all RUSAF athletes have embraced the change to a new anti-doping culture proclaimed by RUSAF, both of which are conditions for reinstatement. The AIU [Athletics Integrity Unit] will be looking into this.”
RUSAF (formerly ARAF) was suspended by the IAAF in 2015 amid allegations of state-supported doping in the country, and almost its entire track and field team was excluded from the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
The IAAF approved a new name, ‘World Athletics’, for itself, and a new logo, earlier this week, saying that the new brand identity will begin its roll-out in October after the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha and following the IAAF Congress’s approval of the change to the federation’s legal name.