Doping-Russian agency records 375 whereabouts rule violations in 2022

FILE PHOTO: Russian high jumper Danil Lysenko attends a training session at a sports centre in Moscow, Russia October 19, 2021. REUTERS/Tatyana Makeyeva

GENEVA (Reuters) - Russian anti-doping agency RUSADA said on Friday it had recorded 375 cases last year in which athletes did not properly provide their whereabouts to allow for them to be tested for banned substances, TASS news agency reported.

Rocked by doping scandals for years, Russia has acknowledged some shortcomings in the implementation of anti-doping rules but denies ever running a state-sponsored doping scheme.

High-level athletes are required to provide their location and contact details so they can be reached by doping control officers for drug tests, which is especially crucial for testing outside of competition.

Three whereabouts violations in a 12-month period constitute an anti-doping violation that can lead to a suspension.

A memorable case of whereabouts violations in Russia was that of high jumper Danil Lysenko.

Lysenko, a silver medallist at the 2017 World Athletics Championships, was provisionally suspended in 2018 after recording three whereabouts failures within a 12-month period.

It became an even greater scandal when senior athletics federation officials were found by the Athletics Integrity Unit to have forged medical documents and provided false explanations to justify his violations.

Lysenko and his coach were suspended, as well as five federation officials.

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

The agency was conditionally reinstated as Russia's recognised anti-doping body in September 2018, but was later declared non-compliant after WADA found Moscow had provided it with doctored laboratory data.

Russia's four-year ban from major international sport -- imposed by WADA for widespread infringements of doping regulations -- was halved to two years by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) and expired last month.

The agency, however, still has several conditions to meet to be reinstated.

(Reporting by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber; Editing by Toby Davis)

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