Valentin Balakhnichev is to resign as President of the All-Russian Athletics Federation (ARAF) following a string of doping scandals involving the country’s top athletes, he has announced.

Balakhnichev, who has led the ARAF since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, will officially step down later this month.

“Everything should be done according to the rules,” he said.

“I’ll declare my resignation during ARAF meeting on February 17 and then this decision must be approved.

“I’m not going to continue my work until new elections and will cease my credentials that day.

“The Presidium should elect the person who will meet obligations of ARAF president until new elections.”

Balakhnichev, 65, has finally caved into the pressure he has been under since an investigation broadcast on German television in December which accused him of being involved in a systematic doping system which claimed that up to 99 per cent of Russian athletes used banned drugs.

Since then, a number of top Russian athletes have been banned, including Olympic 3,000 metres gold medallist Yulia Zaripova, who now faces being stripped of the title she won at London 2012, and 2011 world heptathlon champion Tatyana Chernova.

It followed three Russian Olympic race walking champions – Sergei Kirdyapkin, Valery Borchin and Olga Kaniskina – all being banned banned by the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) for abnormal indexes of haematological profiles in their biological passports.

News that Olympic 3,000m steeplechase gold medallist Yulia Zaripova had become the latest Russian athlete to be banned for drugs appears to have finally forced Valentin Balakhnichev to resign as President of the All-Russian Athletics Federation ©Getty ImagesNews that Olympic 3,000m steeplechase gold medallist Yulia Zaripova had become the latest Russian athlete to be banned for drugs appears to have finally forced Valentin Balakhnichev to resign as President of the All-Russian Athletics Federation ©Getty Images

The scandal has already forced Valentin Maslakov to resign as chief coach of Russian athletics, a post he had held since 2007.

The German documentary featured serious accusations by 800 metres runner Yulia Stepanova, who has also been banned for a doping violation, and her husband Vitaly Stepanov, who had worked for RUSADA between 2008 and 2011.

The most serious allegation was that Liliya Shobukhova, the second fastest marathoner in history and a three-time winner of the Chicago Marathon and London Marathon champion in 2010 before her results were annulled, paid $450,000 (£300,000/€400,000) to avoid a doping ban.

Balakhnichev had announced only on Friday (January 30) that the ARAF planned to file two lawsuits in the German courts this month against ARD, the station which broadcast the programme.

The accusations led to Balakhnichev being forced to step down temporarily as treasurer of the International Association of Athletics Federations after the world governing body launched an ethics inquiry.

The World Anti-Doping Agency has also set up a special panel chaired by its former chairman Richard Pound, an influential member of the International Olympic Committee, to investigate the claims.

Balakhnichev, a member of the IAAF’s ruling Council since 2007 and a former vice-president of European Athletics, was the national athletics coach of the Soviet Union between 1978 and 1984, including at Moscow 1980.

There they won a total of 41 medals, including 15 gold, to finish top overall.

 

From: http://www.insidethegames.biz/sports/summer/athletics/1025298-russian-athletics-president-to-resign-over-doping-scandals

dd

** The articles that we post on this website are searched from the Internet and don’t reflect our views.  VAULTER Magazine LLC. is bringing the pole vault news to the reader in one central location. ***

Leave A Comment