Russian track and field athletes may have become victims of scammers, after suspicious people posing themselves as doping control officers tested them at the training camp in Kenya.
The athletes suspect that the fake officers planned to use fabricated failed doping tests in an attempt to seek financial reward.
“On March 12 a group of people who introduced themselves as members of IDTM, a global network of Doping Control Officers, came to us to take doping tests,” Andrey Savin, the husband and coach of Russian 800-meter runner Ksenia Savina, told Match TV.
“Several aspects of their work looked very suspicious to us. First of all, an IDTM card was shown on a phone, no originals were demonstrated to us.
“Secondly, the doping collection procedure was carried out in an inappropriate way, my wife’s doping probe was shaken by an officer which is unacceptable,” he added.
Savin also noted that the athletes couldn’t refuse undergoing doping control procedure as, according to IAAF rules, “failure to comply with a request to provide a sample may result in sanction being imposed by IAAF.”
“We took pictures of all the documents and sent them to the IAAF and ADAK [Anti-doping agency of Kenya]. The Kenyan body said the man [who had taken doping tests] is unfamiliar to them adding they were unaware of any sanctioned doping controls. IAAF said they made requirements regarding the case to other doping-related bodies,” he added.
In a statement released by the ADAK, the body confirmed it received multiple complaints regarding illegal doping tests held by unauthorized doping officers in Kenya.
“Our attention has been drawn to complaints from some athletes and individuals masquerading as ADAK or International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Sample Collection Personnel (SCPs) operating within the country,” the statement reads.
“We are reliably informed that the individuals are using the sample collection process as a conduit for reasons yet to be established.”
ADAK outlined that all SCPs are required to “appropriately introduce themselves to athletes before collecting any sample” and show their identification cards issued by the anti-doping agency.