Ex-head of Russian Anti-Doping Agency ‘Dies Of Heart Attack’

Nikita Kamaev, the former head of Russia's anti-doping agency, has passed away two months after he resigned from the position of executive director at RUSADA after a doping scandal that swept through Russian athletics.

Nikita Kamaev

Ramil Khabriev, the agency's former director general, remarked the death of Kamaev appeared to be caused by a heart attack. Ramil added Nikita complained of heart ache after a skiing session and also remarked he had never complained about heart problems, at least to him and said maybe his wife knew about such problems.

In November last year, Russia was suspended from international athletics after one of the biggest doping scandals in the history of world athletics came to light. The International Association of Athletic Associations (IAAF) provisionally suspended Russia from international athletics, including the Olympic Games, in November after the WADA repot. Russia was deemed in breach of WADA Codes along with Argentina, Ukraine, Bolivia, Andorra, and Israel. The IAAF suspension meant RUSADA was prohibited from carrying out any WADA-related anti-doping activity. In December, Kamaev resigned from Russia's anti-doping agency along with all the other top executives of the organization after Russian initiated work on lifting the ban in time for athletes of the country to compete at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in August 2016.

Russian athletics was accused by a commission of the World Anti-Doping Agency of state-backed doping and corruption. The WADA investigation heavily criticized role of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency in the doping scandal. The commission revealed doping control officers of RUSADA used to regularly accept bribes from athletes and offered advance notice of out-of-competition tests. The commission also said it had major concerns about functioning of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency as an impartial institution. It was concluded by WADA independent commission in a report that there was strong corroborating evidence that the Moscow laboratory has been involved in a widespread cover-up of positive doping tests. It was also revealed by Moscow lab director of WADA-accredited laboratory in Moscow, Grigory Rodchenkov that he destroyed 1,417 doping control samples despite receiving written notification to preserve them prior to a visit by officials of the World Anti-Doping Agency.

Kamayev had stood down from his role on the International Cycling Union's anti-doping commission a month before resigning from RUSADA after an initial report was released by WADA's independent commission recommending Russia be banned from athletics.

Recently, IAAF President Sebastian Coe met with the new head of the Russian athletics federation. Coe and Dmitry Shlyakhtin met on Friday in Monaco to discuss Russian athletics and the way to lead it out of the crisis. Coe was briefed by Shlyakhtin on reforms in Russian track and field. The Russian federation said Shlyakhtin told Coe that they are an issue that can't be solved in one day and which requires systematic and painstaking work.

The IAAF, in order to readmit Russia, has demanded that the country investigate whether there were more doping cases not covered in the report submitted by the World Anti-Doping Agency. The IAAF also urged the Russian federation to improve anti-doping education for athletes and submit to extra testing for Russian national team ahead of the Olympics.

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