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  • Russian Athletics President Quits


    (ATR) The Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF) is again in the market for a permanent president.

    Yevgeny Yurchenko, at head of table, leads Presidium meeting in March. (RusAF)
    Yevgeny Yurchenko resigned on Monday after less than five months on the job.

    He didn’t give a reason for his decision but the move comes less than two weeks after RusAF missed a July 1 deadline to pay World Athletics a $5 million fine and an additional $1.3 million in costs tied to various anti-doping violations.

    Yurchenko said at the time that RusAF did not have the money to pay the fine due to financial losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

    The payments were part of new set of reinstatement criteria approved by the World Athletics Council on March 12 after Yurchenko, on his third day in charge on March 2, admitted wrongdoing and apologized for RusAF covering up doping violations by a top Russian athlete.

    As a result of the missed payment, World Athletics suspended the work of its Russian Taskforce and Doping Review Board until the Council can discuss the situation when it meets on July 29-30.

    This includes putting on hold the Authorized Neutral Athlete (ANA) process for Russian athletes to compete at international competitions but not under the Russian flag. Only a maximum of 10 Russian athletes will be allowed to compete at Tokyo 2020 and other specified World Athletics and European Athletics senior events as neutrals.

    In a worst-case scenario for Russia, the World Athletics Council could penalize RusAF for its failure to pay the fine by banning Russian athletes from competing under any circumstances and kicking RusAF out of the international federation.

    RusAF has been suspended by World Athletics since 2015 over widespread doping but has been in even hotter water since November, when RusAF’s then-president was among seven officials and representatives charged with using forged documents and giving false explanations in an anti-doping investigation of Russian athlete Danil Lysenko.

    In his statement on Monday, Yurchenko wished that the next RusAF president could “move forward to resolve the nearly five-year-long difficulties in relations with World Athletics and also make it possible to attract enough funding to develop the federation.”

    Under the RusAF charter, TASS reports that the first vice president Alexei Plotnikov is in line to be acting president.

    Written by Gerard Farek

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