Russian high jumper Danil Lysenko was handed a six-year ban Monday over an elaborate attempt to deceive anti-doping authorities, in a case which showed senior Russian track and field officials colluding to break the rules. The Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled Lysenko tampered with the anti-doping process and failed to inform anti-doping bodies of his whereabouts.
Two years of the sanction are suspended because Lysenko eventually admitted trying to deceive the Athletics Integrity Unit and cooperated with its investigations into other Russian figures. Lysenko won silver at the world championships in 2017 and world indoor gold a year later. Lysenko, 24, can return to competition in August 2022, when four years will have passed since he was first provisionally suspended over the whereabouts issue.
"We welcome the CAS decision. 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 behavior. We do hope this outcome serves as a warning against any form of fraudulent conduct in our sport," AIU head Brett Clothier said in a statement. Earlier rulings found that "most if not all of the senior management" of the Russian federation colluded to cover up Lysenko's case.
Five officials including the then-federation president were banned over the conspiracy. It involved creating documents from a fake clinic to give Lysenko a medical excuse for not being available for testing and falsely claiming a car crash excused him from another case. The AIU said Lysenko's coach Evgeny Zagorulko, who had worked with several Olympic and world champions, accepted a four-year ban in the case. Zagorulko died in April before a CAS hearing was due to decide how much of that sanction could be suspended because he had assisted the investigation.
Russia was already suspended from international track and field over doping but the Lysenko case brought it to the brink of expulsion from governing body World Athletics when the charges were filed in late 2019. Russia remains suspended after the Lysenko case caused a long freeze in reinstatement talks. The negotiations have since resumed after Russia paid a $5 million fine over the Lysenko case and around $1.3 million in other costs.