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Russia accused of doping cover-up: report

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Craig Reedie, president of World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), attends a press conference at the Main Press Center in PyeongChang, South Korea, Feb. 8, 2018. The PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games will kick off on Feb. 9. (Xinhua/Bai Xuefei)

PARIS (AFP) – The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) is investigating claims Russian officials tried to cover up a doping case involving high jumper Danil Lysenko, following a report in Britain’s Sunday Times.

Lysenko was provisionally suspended last August on the eve of the European Championships in Berlin, after failing to make himself available for out-of-competition drug testing.

According to the Sunday Times, Russian athletics federation (RUSAF) officials fabricated documents to show the 2017 world silver medallist was too ill to provide his whereabouts.

The newspaper claimed these documents came from fake doctors working at a bogus clinic in Moscow.

“The address used is a real address where there is a demolished building,” said a source with knowledge of the investigation in Russia.

The AIU, a watchdog founded by athletics’ governing body to combat doping in the sport, confirmed it was looking into “a matter relating to the explanation provided by a Russian athlete in defence of a whereabouts violation in 2018”.

It said it would make no further comment while the investigation is ongoing.

Investigators from the AIU have seized data from computers and other electric devices at RUSAF headquarters, the Sunday Times reported.

In an email sent Sunday to AFP, the IAAF said its taskforce “will prepare a report on all relevant matters and a recommendation for the IAAF Council, which will meet in Monaco on June 8 and 9.”

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