6 Mar 2020
Ms Elena Ikonnikova is an Anti-Doping Coordinator for the Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF).
In August 2018 the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) of the IAAF (now: World Athletics) has reported an anti-doping rule violation of Tampering against the high jumper Danil Lysenko after the AIU had opened an investigation against the Athlete regarding his Whereabouts Failures.
With the assistance of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) the AIU discovered that the Athlete had forged medical documents to the AIU. The AIU also concluded that RusAF officials had been involved in the provision of false explanations and forged documents to the AIU in order to explain whereabouts failures by the Athlete.
During their investigation the AIU believed that relevant information may be stored on the email and document servers of RusAF, hard drives, tapes, disks or other storage devices. Mobile storage devices and electronic communications devices (sucht as mobile telephones, tablets, personal computers, laptop computer, USBs and hard drives) that were the property of RusAF were also considered containing relevant information.
In May 2019 the AIU and RUSADA conducted an investigation at the offices of RusAF in Moscow. Ms. Ikonnikova, as RusAF Anti-Doping Coordinator, provided access to a computer for inspection, copying relevant information. However she failed to hand over her mobile telephone(s) on the basis that it was her personal property and did not belong to RusAF.
Hereafter Ms Ikonnikova rejected in May 2019 an AIU Demand for the inspection, copying and/or downloading of her electronic storage devices. She further failed to comply with an Order of the IAAF Disciplinary Tribunal issued on 15 July 2019 following the determination of an objection to the AIU Demand filed by her.
The AIU contended that Ms. Ikonnikova failed to comply with the Demand issued to her on 17 May 2019 and failed to comply with an Order of the Disciplinary Tribunal issued in a ruling dated 15 July 2019. Consequently the AIU requested the Panel to impose a severe sanction on Ms. Ikkonikova as a result of her failure to comply considering aggravating factors.
Ms Ikonnikova denied the charges and claimed that compliance to provide acces to her device(s) breached Russian law and expose her to a real risk of prosecution. The AIU denied these facts but contended that it would not excuse her failure to comply but would at most affect the sanction.
The chairperson Panel deems that Ms. Ikonnikova seeked to avoid exposing material on her telephone which would itself evidence the involvement of her and other in RusAF in the Lysenko violation. The Panel holds that Ms. Ikonnikova’s misconduct, as a Anti-Doping Coordinator for RusAF, in failing to comply is particularly serious, especially given her particular knowledge, experience and responsibilities.
The Panel concludes that without compelling justification Ms. Ikonnikova failed to provide immediately her electronic storage devices (including her mobile telephone) for inspection, copying and downloading by the AIU in May 2019. In addition she failed to comply with the Order issued by the Disciplinary Tribunal on 15 July 2019.
Considering all aggravating circumstances in this case the Panel decides on 6 March 2020 to impose an 8 year period of ineligibility on Ms. Ikonnikova.
In November 2019 as a result of their investigations in the Lysenko case the AIU also reported separate individual charges against Ms Elena Ikonnikova for anti-doping rule violations of Tampering and/or Complicity and provisionally suspended her with immediate effect.
The charges of Tampering and/or Complicity were also issued against a number of senior federation officials, including the RusAF President, Dmitry Shlyakhtin, and Executive Director, Alexander Parkin, the Athlete Danil Lysenko and his coach.