January 21, 2015 / 6:31 PM / 5 years ago

Banned Russian walker Kaniskina to quit executive role

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Former Olympic walk champion Olga Kaniskina will step down as the head of Russia’s Olympic Training Centre for Walking following her doping ban, Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said on Wednesday.

Russia's Olga Kaniskina sits on the ground after finishing second in the women's 20km race walk final at the London 2012 Olympic Games at The Mall August 11, 2012. REUTERS/Laszlo Balogh

“Of course she would be removed. I will personally give instructions to the center myself so that they will implement the correct measures that are needed,” Mutko told the agency R-Sport.

The 2008 Olympic gold medalist Kaniskina, 30, who had finished competing, was banned for three years and two months backdated to 2012.

Olympic walk champions Valery Borchin and Sergei Kirdyapkin were also among five athletes banned for doping, the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) said on Tuesday.

RUSADA said the breaking of anti-doping rules “was due to abnormal blood levels in their biological passports”.

Kaniskina would not be drawn on her future.

“I won’t make any comments until there are instructions from the directors. I am the director!” the newspaper Sovetsky Sport reported her as saying.

The publication also reported the president of the Russian Athletics Federation (VFLA), Valentin Balakhnichev, is ready to step down.

“If I am asked, I will do this. My own personal ambitions are not higher than those of Russia,” he said.

“Therefore if they tell me: It is your fault, get your things and go, I will get my things and go without a question,” Balakhnichev added. 

editing by Justin Palmer

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