Athletics Integrity Unit Charges Russian Athletics Federation With Obstructing An Investigation And Provisionally Suspends Several Senior Federation Officials For Tampering And Complicity
17th February 2021
The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) has today charged the Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF) with serious breaches of the Anti-Doping Rules, including a failure to co-operate with an investigation and obstructing an investigation. The charges relate to the conduct of senior RusAF officials during an investigation into ‘whereabouts’ violations committed by Russian high-jumper, Danil Lysenko.
A number of senior federation officials, including the RusAF President, Dmitry Shlyakhtin, and Executive Director, Alexander Parkin, the Athlete and his coach, have also been charged with Tampering and/or Complicity under the Anti-Doping Rules and been provisionally suspended.
This follows a 15-month AIU investigation (in co-operation with RUSADA) which concluded that RusAF officials had been involved in the provision of false explanations and forged documents to the AIU in order to explain whereabouts failures by the Athlete.
RusAF, suspended from the membership of World Athletics since November 2015, has been issued a notice of charge for failing to comply with its obligations as a Member Federation. RusAF has until 12 December to respond to the notice following which the AIU Board may refer the matter to the World Athletics Council to be determined in accordance with the Anti-Doping Rules.
In addition, seven individuals associated with RusAF, namely Dmitry Shlyakhtin (President), Alexander Parkin (Executive Director), Artur Karamyan (Board Member and President of the Moscow Regional Athletics Federation), Elena Orlova (Senior Administrator), Elena Ikonnikova (Anti-Doping Coordinator), Danil Lysenko (Athlete) and Evgeniy Zagorulko (Coach of Danil Lysenko), have been issued with individual charges for anti-doping rule violations of Tampering and/or Complicity and have all been provisionally suspended with immediate effect. Danil Lysenko is charged with Tampering as a second violation, having been previously notified of an alleged violation for three whereabouts failures (the details of the charges against the individuals is listed in appendix 1, click here to view.)
Each of these individuals has the right to respond to the charges against them, including to request that the charges and/or any consequences be determined by the World Athletics Disciplinary Tribunal.
Danil Lysenko, a high jump silver medallist from the 2017 World Athletics Championships, was authorised by World Athletics as a neutral athlete to compete in international competition following the suspension of RusAF.
The AIU notified Danil Lysenko of his third ‘whereabouts’ failure on 25 June 2018. Any combination of three Missed Tests and/or Filing Failures within a 12-month period is considered a violation of the Anti-Doping Rules. A Notice of Charge was issued against him and provisional suspension imposed on 3 August 2018.
The AIU investigated the veracity of the explanations provided by Danil Lysenko to explain his whereabouts failures and concluded that the explanations were false and supported by forged documents. The focus of the AIU’s investigation then became whether RusAF officials were involved in any way in the provision of the false information.
In the final phase of the investigation, between 10 April and 21 November 2019, the AIU:
- conducted 22 witness interviews;
- acquired 14 electronic storage devices including mobile phones and computer hard drives from relevant persons for inspection and analysis;
- conducted digital forensic analysis of over 6 terabytes of electronic data collected; and
- translated approximately 7000 documents or records from Russian to English
The investigation has concluded with charges being brought against RusAF and relevant RusAF officials and associates, in addition to Danil Lysenko.
The AIU acknowledges the work of RUSADA staff who made a valuable contribution to the investigation.