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Russia’s Olympic chief accuses anti-doping agency of financial violations

  • July 13, 2020

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia’s Olympic Committee accused the country’s anti-doping agency on Monday of presiding over serious financial irregularities, mounting pressure on the organisation tasked with clearing up Russia’s sporting image.

Yuri Ganus, the agency’s head, denies the allegation, casting it as part of a campaign against his organisation that he said hampers its anti-doping push.

Stanislav Pozdnyakov, head of Russia’s Olympic Committee, said an audit of anti-doping agency RUSADA’s financial activity in 2018 and 2019 had identified several “significant violations”.

The new assertions compounded corruption accusations aired against Ganus on social media last week, alleging that he had misappropriated the agency’s funds.

Though only on social media, those allegations prompted Ganus to convene a news conference on Friday where he rejected the accusations as “a pack of lies” designed to discredit his agency.

“The attack continues,” Ganus told Reuters on Monday.

RUSADA was suspended in 2015 after the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) found evidence of mass doping in Russian athletics.

The agency was conditionally reinstated in September 2018, but was declared non-compliant late last year after WADA found Moscow had provided it with doctored laboratory data.

It has since appealed against a four-year ban on Russian athletes competing at major international sporting events under their flag as punishment for that alteration of laboratory data.

The case will be heard at the Lausanne-based Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in November.

(Reporting by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber; writing by Tom Balmforth; editing by Christian Radnedge)

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