By Liam Morgan |
Russia’s anti-doping reform efforts have been further called into question after two amateur boxers were found to have competed while serving drugs bans.
Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) deputy director general Margarita Pakhnotskaya confirmed to insidethegames that Islam Dashaev and Alena Tokarchuk had both taken part in boxing events despite being suspended for doping.
It followed an earlier report on Reuters, which revealed Dashaev and Tokarchuk had breached their respective bans by participating in official tournaments.
They both could have their suspensions doubled as a result of violating their bans.
Pakhnotskaya promised RUSADA would investigate but claimed the organisation “did not know the facts about the participation of these athletes in the competition during the period of disqualification”.
“The reasons why disqualified athletes took part in the competitions under the jurisdiction and with the support of the Russian Boxing Federation (BFR) are unknown, and the fact of participation of such athletes in the competitions is alarming,” she added.
Boxing Federation of Russia official Valery Karadutov claimed to Reuters that the governing body was not told the two athletes were banned, which Pakhnotskaya disputes.
“RUSADA does not have the right to allow athletes to compete,” she said.
“The BFR has been notified about the disqualification of these athletes in due time.”
Dashaev was suspended for four years by RUSADA in 2017 for breaching articles of the All-Russian anti-doping rules relating to “evading, refusing or failing to submit to sample collection” and “tampering or attempted tampering with any part of doping control”.
Competition records obtained by Reuters and confirmed by Pakhnotskaya show he took part at a national competition held in the city of Anapa in August 2018.
RUSADA banned Tokarchuk for two years in November 2017 after she tested positive for furosemide, a diuretic, but she took part at the Moscow Women’s Boxing Championship for women born in or before 1999 in January and February of last year.
The tournament started a week after her suspension was announced by RUSADA.
The revelations cast doubt on the Russian system’s ability to reform following the doping scandal the country orchestrated at major events including the 2014 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in Sochi.
They mark the latest example of Russian officials or athletes sanctioned for doping breaching their ban.
Last week, Russian athletics coach Vladimir Kazarin admitted breaking his lifetime ban and confirmed he had continued working with athletes after he was suspended in 2017.
Russia is also due to host both the Men’s and Women’s International Boxing Association (AIBA) World Championships later this year.
insidethegames has contacted the BFR, AIBA and the World Anti-Doping Agency for comment.
Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz.