Ballarat race walker Jared Tallent calls for ban on Russian coach

BALLARAT race walker Jared Tallent is leading the charge to have top Russian coach Viktor Chegin banned from the sport.

Ballarat racewalker Jared Tallent.

Ballarat racewalker Jared Tallent.

Three-time Olympic medallist Tallent has used social media to voice his concerns about Chegin, who he claims has had 17of his athletes banned for doping, including one marathon runner.

The most recent was world and Olympic 20km race walk champion Yelena Lashmanova, who late last week was suspended for two years after testing positive for the drug GW1516.

The 29-year-old Tallent says athletes that he is beaten by in international events are “usually” Russians coached by Chegin. He said there had been numerous world events where he had finished behind Chegin-trained walkers, including in the 2012 World Race Walking Cup, where he was granted the silver medal, stripped from subsequent drug cheat Igor Yerokhin.

“I’m very happy with how I perform, but you always think ‘what could I have done better to beat those guys?’ And maybe there’s nothing you can do,” he told The Courier.

“The way they (Chegin athletes) look and are finishing races. They are not even breathing or pushing themselves.

“The whole (Chegin training centre) needs to be investigated and if there is systematic doping going on, it should be shut down or whatever the punishments are needed.”

One of Tallent’s tweets this week was directed at the IAAF, saying “@iaaforg are losing integrity by allowing Viktor Chegin to continue coaching. WR holder Lashmanova is now his 16th banned doper #banchegin.”

He added yesterday that marathon runner Mikhail Lemaev could be added to Chegin’s list of banned athletes.

IAAF vice president and pole vault great Sergey Bubka responded to Tallent, thanking the Australian for his messages and “for putting forward to myself your concern about the doping case of Russian walkers”.

“As Chairman of IOC Entourage Commission, I’ve always advocated sanctioning not only athletes for doping offenses but also relevant entourage,” Bubka wrote.

“The recent publishing of the new Anti-Doping Code by WADA is an improvement in this regard as it englobes both athletes and their entourage.

“With regards to the case, I understand that members of IAAF Race Walking Committee already raised strong concern to IAAF who’s looking into it.

“In any case, I will raise this issue to ensure it is discussed during the upcoming IAAF Council meeting in Eugene next month.

“I’d also like to thank again to @JaredTallent and all those adherent of the idea of clean sport and fair play as well as I’ve always been.”

With AAP

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