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Sports

CAS bans Russian 'doping doctor'

Sergei Portugalov was heavily implicated in reports about alleged state-sponsored doping in Russia. The Court of Arbitration for Sport has slapped him with a "lifetime period of ineligibility."

The Swiss-based Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has handed a lifetime suspension to a Russian sports doctor, who is thought to be the mastermind behind the country's state-sponsored doping program for track and field athletes.

In 2015, a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) commission recommended that Dr. Sergei Portugalov be excluded from any involvement with state sports programs.  There was no immediate ban from the CAS, but the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) issued a blanket ban on Russian track-and-field athletes in November 2015.

The CAS said in a statement that there was "clear evidence" that Portugalov had been guilty of breaching anti-doping regulations, including the possession and administration of prohibited substances.

Portugalov, who was head of the country's sports medical commission, was regarded as the brains behind alleged widespread doping in the Russian system, aimed at improving the performances of athletes at the summer and winter Olympic Games in 2012 and 2014. 

More work needed

Meanwhile, Sir Craig Reedie has said that Russia's anti-doping agency (RUSADA) will have to do to more in order to get the 2015 ban on it lifted.

"There remains significant work to do (for RUSADA). It must demonstrate its processes are autonomous and independent from outside interference," said Reedie, who added the RUSADA hadn't proven that it was shielded from outside influences.

"We continue the work to restore the compliance of the Russian agency," Reedie told a Wada symposium in Lausanne on Monday.

The  IAAF, has relaxed some of the restrictions on Russian athletes competing, if they can provide evidence that they are fully compliant. Last month, pole vaulter Anzhelika Sidorova, sprinter Kristina Sivkova and Aleksei Sokirskii were cleared to compete at the world championships in August under a neutral flag.

rd/pfd (AP, AFP)