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Sport

Russian athletics federation staff receive lengthy bans in Lysenko case

FILE PHOTO: Athletics - Diamond League - Pontaise Stadium, Lausanne, Switzerland - July 5, 2018 Neutral Athlete, Danil Lysenko celebrates during the Men's High Jump REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

(Reuters) - The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) on Friday suspended former Russian athletics federation officials Elena Ikonnikova and Elena Orlova for eight years and six years respectively for obstructing an anti-doping investigation into high jumper Danil Lysenko.

Lysenko, who won silver in the high jump at the 2017 world championships, failed to file his whereabouts on three occasions and was provisionally suspended in 2018 as three strikes in a 12-month period constituted an anti-doping violation.

Last year, the AIU concluded that federation officials had provided “false explanations and forged documents” to the AIU to explain Lysenko’s whereabouts failures.

"The Disciplinary Tribunal has upheld the AIU's charge and banned RusAF staff Elena Ikonikkova and Elena Orlova for eight years and six years respectively under World Athletics rules for failing to comply with AIU's demands in the Danil Lysenko whereabouts investigation," it said in a statement here.

“In addition to these charges, the AIU has charged the two individuals along with several other senior federation officials with Tampering & Complicity in connection with whereabouts violations committed by Lysenko in Nov ‘19.”

Reuters has contacted the federation for comment.

The tribunal found that both Ikonnikova and Orlova had failed to provide their mobile phones and electronic storage devices for inspection by the AIU in relation to the investigation into Lysenko’s whereabouts failures.

Russia’s athletics federation has been suspended since a 2015 report commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) found evidence of mass doping among the country’s track and field athletes.

Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis

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