Russia vows tough action on track coaches accused of doping
MOSCOW (AP) The president of the All-Russia Athletic Federation promised on Monday to take ''very tough measures'' against coaches accused of doping athletes, and the athletes who work with them.
Dmitry Shlyakhtin said he and Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov discussed the issue on Monday with a taskforce from the IAAF. That follows allegations a suspended coach is continuing to work with a runner from the Olympic team, and that other Russian coaches are involved in providing banned substances to top Russian runners.
Shlyakhtin said ''serious investigations'' were underway.
''Today the minister and I discussed this issue with the taskforce and very tough measures will be taken in the near future on all these things which were covered,'' he said.
German TV channel ARD broadcast footage on Sunday apparently showing suspended coach Vladimir Kazarin, who is suspended over allegations of steroid use by two Olympic medalists he trained, working with runner Artyom Denmukhametov.
Shlyakhtin did not answer when asked what punishment Denmukhametov could face for allegedly working with Kazarin.
''It's been on the table here and it's been discussed,'' IAAF task force head Rune Andersen told The Associated Press. ''We have reactions to that and we're following up certainly on those findings.''
Andersen is in Moscow for two days of meetings with Russian sports bosses, as well as a law enforcement body which has been investigating various doping-related issues.
Andersen is tasked with reporting back to the IAAF at a council meeting next month. The IAAF suspended Russia from all international competitions in November 2015 over evidence of widespread drug use and cover-ups.
''We are making progress. They are fulfilling some of the criteria that we have established, so it's moving,'' Andersen said of Russian track and field officials on Monday.
At the IAAF's last council meeting in December, Andersen's taskforce said Russia could not yet be reinstated because of the lack of a functional drug-testing agency there, and a lack of acceptance of the findings of investigations into drug use in Russian sport.