Russian Olympic Team Now Clean, Says New Coach

Yury Borzakovsky, who was recently appointed as head coach of the Russian athletics team, has remarked we have a new team and everyone in it is clean. The former Olympic 800m champion recently took over after Valentin Maslakov resigned in the wake of latest doping scandals of Russia, bringing to an end his 24-year reign.

Borzakovsky, who won gold in the 800m at the 2004 Olympics, said the athletes even have a certain fear of the management and of me personally. The 33-year-old head coach also commented that he has made sure the guys understand that it’s finished, that that page has been turned. Borzakovsky also remarked that our anti-doping service is working really well and said we are planning to hold anti-doping workshops at every national team training camp in the future.

The newly-appointed coach also said that he is sure that all of the country’s athletes understand clearly that the past should remain in the past. The athlete-turned-coach, who also won two silver and two bronze medals at world championships between 2003-11, also said discipline in the national squad will be much stricter and went on to add that the athletes and their coaches will report to me on their work done every month.

Borzakovsky also said he is ready to take complete responsibility for the national squad’s performances. Borzakovsky said he believes he has a clear view of the situation in the country’s athletics and totally accept his personal responsibility for the national team’s performance.

Russia is fighting hard against doping positives and allegations. In a German television documentary, it was claimed that 99% of Russian athletes were doping. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the International Athletics Federation (IAAF) are looking into these allegations.

In the recent past, the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) suspended race walkers Valeriy Borchin, Olga Kaniskina, Sergey Bakulin, Sergey Kirdyapkin and Vladimir Kanaykin, and steeplechaser Yuliya Zaripova after abnormalities were found in their IAAF biological passports. It however decided to take away some medals but did not strip them of any Olympic medals. The IAAF is appealing to the Court of Arbitration for Sport against the “selective disqualification of results“.

Russia’s influential Sports Ministry is supporting the Russian anti-doping agency, said deputy minister Yuri Nagornykh. The deputy minister in sports ministry said our lawyers consider that what RUSADA did with regards to this issue was right and added specialists will study this situation and the issue will be decided in the legal field and added that in order to say something definite, it is firstly necessary to wait for the relevant documentation from the IAAF and to study them attentively.

In March this year, Vitaly Melnikov was banned for two years after testing positive for EPO during the European Short-Course Championships in Herning in December 2013. FINA, the international governing body of swimming, decided that the swimmer tested positive to the substance Erythropoietin – EPO (Class S.2 Peptides Hormones, Growth Factors and related Substances) and imposed an ineligibility period of two years, starting on December 12, 2013 and ending at the conclusion of the December 12, 2015 for his first anti-doping rule violation.

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