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    Russia’s sports image hurt by scandal

    Russia’s sports image hurt by scandal
    17 January 2016, Sunday Modified: 12:06

    Oleg Samonaev, editor-in-chief of Russian daily Sport-Express, says Russia has lost a number of competitions before it could even compete for them

    Russia has created a negative image for itself in the world of sports and has lost a number of competitions before it could even compete for them, a Russian sports editor has said.

    In an interview with Anadolu Agency on Thursday, Oleg Samonaev, editor-in-chief of Russian daily Sport-Express, said Russia could solve its doping problems only if its new generation decided not to accept that one could do anything to bag a medal.

    On Thursday, an independent commission of the World Anti-Doping Agency accused the former president of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), Lamine Diack, of corruption, according to a report published Thursday.

    The commission said in its 89-page report that Diack and his close associates allegedly formed an informal governance structure within the world athletics body and breached anti-doping rules; it also accused them of being involved in conspiracy and corruption.

    Previously, IAAF handed life bans to Alexei Melnikov, the former chief coach for Russian endurance athletes, and to Valentin Balakhnichev, the IAAF Treasurer -- also the former president of the Russia Athletics Federation (ARAF) -- who held a high ranking in the hierarchy of sport at the Russian Federation.

    Russia then also lost the opportunity to host the 2016 IAAF World Race Walking Team Championships and 2016 IAAF World U20 Championships.

    "The state should make it clear that it is the honor of the athletes, not the medals, that should be won," Samonaev said, complaining that the state wanted medals in return for its investment in sports.

    He appreciated efforts in his country to regard "doping in sports" as a crime.

    Under the current law, only trainers are responsible for doping, he said. "Prison sentence instead of prohibiting an athlete from the competitions for two years who does doping may create deterrence," he added.

    The report lists several instances of corruption and conspiracy. One of the cases was about Dr. Gabriel Dolle, who was employed by the IAAF to run the Medical and Anti-Doping Department Administrator from 1994 until he was forced out in September of 2014.

    Diack alleged directed Dolle to insert lawyer Habib Cisse into the department to manage the results of the Russian Athlete Biological Passport cases. "The interference by LD [Diack] with the normal operations of the MADept [Medical and Anti-Doping Department] appears to have caused Dr. Dolle to slip into his alleged role in the connivance and corruption, and resulted in confidential internal departmental information being passed from the IAAF to ARAF.

    "That information became the working information from which senior Russian coaches and officials engaged in dirty [i.e., doped] athlete competition. It also facilitated the extortion of at least two athletes by Russian officials and IAAF consultants, respectively," the report said.