Yarnold criticizes omission of Russian sliders from anti-doping checks

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Skeleton - BMW IBSF Bob & Skeleton World Championships - Women's medal ceremony - Koenigssee

(Reuters) – British Olympic champion Lizzy Yarnold has criticized the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF) for failing to include any Russian skeleton athletes on the anti-doping checklist.

An independent commission report said in December that more than 1,000 Russian athletes competing in summer, winter and paralympic sport were involved in or benefited from an institutional conspiracy to conceal positive doping tests.

The IBSF released the names of 35 skeleton athletes for its Registered Testing Pool (RTP), who must be a part of regular anti-doping checks during the Winter Olympic season.

Yarnold is one of the three Britons in the 11 athletes selected from skeleton.

“I don’t understand why there are three GB athletes and no Russians,” the 28-year-old told the BBC.

“The system is crucial in our fight against doping and I think the IBSF should expand the testing pool.”

The World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA’s) Anti-Doping Administration and Management System (ADAMS) requires all 35 athletes in the RTP to guarantee their whereabouts for one hour per day of the program’s duration.

In response to Yarnold’s comments, the IBSF told Reuters it will publish the criteria for its RTP on Thursday.

“We are working closely with the national anti-doping organizations of our member federations to assure testing is coordinated and most efficient. All for the purpose to protect the clean athletes,” IBSF said in a statement.

(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Louise Ireland)

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