Russian Olympic Committee pressures track leaders to reform

Newly appointed Russian Olympic Committee President Stanislav Pozdnyakov speaks with media in Moscow. (Pavel Golovkin/AP)

MOSCOW — The Russian Olympic Committee added to the pressure on the country’s athletics federation on Monday, calling for entirely new leadership after its president was implicated in obstructing an anti-doping investigation.

ROC president Stanislav Pozdnyakov said he wants to see "a complete change of the whole management" at the federation after meeting its interim head Yulia Tarasenko on Monday.

She took office on Saturday, replacing Dmitry Shlyakhtin, who resigned after he became one of seven Russians charged in the obstruction case.

Pozdnyakov said the case damages Russia’s effort to restore its sports standing after doping scandals, and "inflicts colossal reputational damage on our country as a whole."

The charges centre on allegedly fake medical documents used as an alibi by the high jumper Danil Lysenko after he was accused of failing to make himself available for drug testing. Besides Shlyakhtin, four other officials, Lysenko, and Lysenko’s coach are facing charges from the Athletics Integrity Unit.

The ROC could exclude the federation from membership if it doesn’t appoint new management. The federation is already facing possible expulsion by World Athletics, and the Russian Sports Ministry has suggested it could withdraw recognition.

In a case with striking similarities to that of Lysenko, the Russian Anti-Doping Agency said on Monday that a weightlifter had been banned for four years for using a false medical document.

The agency, known as RUSADA, said former world junior champion Konstantin Roshchupkin was facing questions over his whereabouts for testing purposes when he produced the document.

RUSADA investigators determined it was fake and said he was banned for four years.

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