MOSCOW (AP) Monday 24.10.16 — A Russian deputy minister who was suspended following allegations he covered up doping cases at the 2014 Winter Olympics has resigned, the government said Monday.
Deputy Sports Minister Yuri Nagornykh was the most prominent among a group of sports officials suspended in July by order of President Vladimir Putin following the publication of a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) report which accused them of covering up hundreds of doping cases, including at the Sochi Games.
Nagornykh had vehemently denied allegations of a state cover-up, a position shared by the Russian government, but disappeared from public life since the suspension. His departure comes in the run-up to the publication of a fuller version of the WADA report into doping in Russia.
A document signed by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev (photo over) and posted on the Russian government’s legal database on Monday stated that Nagornykh was removed from his post “at his own request,” without providing further details.
The document was dated last Thursday, the day after Nagornykh’s boss, Vitaly Mutko, was promoted from Sports Minister to Deputy Prime Minister, even though he had been barred by the IOC from attending the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro over the doping scandal. The new sports minister is another of Mutko’s former deputies, Pavel Kolobkov.
Sports Ministry spokeswoman Lyudmila Derevyanko told The Associated Press by telephone she was unsure whether Nagornykh’s departure would affect any ongoing investigations into his conduct.