Valentin Maslakov, Russia's #Athletics Head coach, resigned on Friday; it is believed that his resignation is linked with the country's latest doping and bribe scandals that have stunned Russian athletics.

Earlier last week, Russian anti-doping agency, RUSADA, banned five Olympic race walkers, including three Olympic champions, who all failed doping tests. The Russian Minister for Sport, Vitaly Mutko, subsequently declared that it would be necessary to make changes in the Russian Athletics Federation (VFLA) to tackle the doping and corruption allegations. Maslakov voluntarily resigned after the statement by the Minister.

Advertisements
Advertisements

The 70 year-old has coached athletes for track and field events for over four decades, and has been the Athletics head coach of the Russian athletics team for the last seven years. Maslakov was the former sprinter who competed in the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City.

WADA, the world anti-doping agency, is currently investigating extensive allegations that were announced by a German television channel and were linked to payment of $450,000 by Russian marathon runner Liliya Shobukhov to dodge a doping ban. The German TV channel claimed that many of Russian top athletes who compete at international events were actually guilty of doping, but stated that a tight network had been put in place to cover it-up; the network apparently involves high officials from the Russian anti-doping agency, the doping control laboratory in Moscow as well as officials in the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

Advertisements

The new waves of accusations come only a month after three senior officials of the IAAF resigned, awaiting the outcome of an investigation of the cover-up of wide spread doping in Russian athletics. Two IAAF officials in question have been named: one is the son of the IAAF president, and the second one is the Head of the Russian Athletics Federation Valentin Balakhnichev, who was treasury at the IAAF.

Although the Russian Athletics Federation has been accused of failing to tackle these serious allegations, they have rejected the claims and said they would undertake their own investigation.

The IAAF expressed serious concerns about the matter and will investigate.