CAS upholds doping ban on Russian high jumper Lysenko

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Danil Lysenko celebrates after the winning the men's high jump at the 2018 World Indoor Athletics Championships as an Authorised Neutral Athlete

The Court of Arbitration for Sport on Monday upheld a ban on high jumper Danil Lysenko, whose missed doping tests briefly halted the international reinstatement of Russian athletes in 2019.

CAS had upheld charges laid by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) against the 2017 world championship silver medallist "for multiple breaches of the Anti-Doping rules including whereabouts failures and tampering with the results management process," said an AIU statement.

In July 2020, World Athletics suspended the process of allowing Russian athletes to return to competition after the country's athletics federation (RusAF) had failed to pay a $5 million fine and $1.31 million in costs for helping cover up Lysenko's missed tests.

While CAS on Monday upheld bans of two years for whereabouts breaches and of four years for tampering, backdated to August 3, 2018, it suspended two of those years because, said the AIU, "of the substantial assistance that the athlete provided to the AIU in bringing charges against former RUSAF officials Dmitry Shlyakhtin and Artur Karamyan."

The ban means Lysenko, who is 24 and won the world indoor title in 2018, will be ineligible until August 3, 2022 and will miss the Tokyo Olympics, which start later this month, and the World Championships next year in Eugene, Oregon.

In a separate proceeding, Lysenko's coach, Evgeniy Zagorulko, admitted to "tampering and complicity" in the case. He had accepted a four-year period of ineligibility. Zagorulko died in April.

CAS said that Zagorluko also "provided substantial assistance to the AIU in connection with the charges against Shlyakhtin and Karamyan"

The judgement ends disciplinary proceedings that started in November 2019 when the AIU charged Lysenko, Zagorulko, RUSAF and several senior RUSAF officials with breaking anti-doping rules by submitting "forged documents and false explanations" during a 15-month investigation into the case.

"This has brought closure to a protracted case that showed the lengths to which some individuals will go to cheat, but also the AIU's capability to investigate such behaviour," the head of the AIU, Brett Clothier, said in a statement.