Russian athletes accused of working with banned coach

MOSCOW — Athletes from Russia’s national track and field team are still working with a coach who was banned for life for doping, investigators said Saturday.

The Russian Anti-Doping Agency says its investigators tracked down Viktor Chegin, who ran a training centre linked to more than 30 doping cases, to the remote town of Karakol in Kyrgyzstan and found him still working with top race-walkers.

Its statement didn’t name the athletes with Chegin, describing them only as “athletes from the Russian national walking team.” It added that “the fact of direct involvement by V. M. Chegin, who is banned for life, has been established.”

Under anti-doping rules, those athletes could now face bans too for knowingly working with a banned coach.

Chegin is the former coach of Sergei Kirdyapkin, Olga Kaniskina and Elena Lashmanova, all of whom won Olympic gold medals but later served suspensions for doping.

Chegin himself was banned in 2016 from working in sports in any capacity after the agency ruled he gave banned substances to his athletes.

The Russian anti-doping agency said Saturday its new investigation was ongoing and that it had demanded an explanation from track federation officials.

Russia’s track federation said it was looking into what it termed Chegin’s “appearance … at the location where a training camp was being held,” but didn’t say he had trained athletes. The alleged incident happened April 20, it said.

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