Nikita Kamayev, Ex-Head of Russian Antidoping Agency, Dies

16Russia-web-master675 MOSCOW — A former director of the disgraced Russian antidoping agency has died unexpectedly, a state news agency reported on Monday, becoming the second of its top officials to die this month. The former executive, Nikita Kamayev, apparently had a heart attack at home after feeling chest pain while cross-country skiing, the news agency Tass reported, citing another former senior official. “He never complained about heart problems, at least to me,” said the official, Ramil Khabriev. “Maybe his wife knew about such problems.” Mr. Kamayev was 52. The agency’s founding chairman, Vyacheslav Sinev, died on Feb. 3, according to a statement from the agency, known by its acronym Rusada. It did not give a cause of death. Both Mr. Khabriev and Mr. Kamayev resigned in December, a month after the World Anti-Doping Agency released a damning and, for the Russian government, highly embarrassing report describing the country running a state-backed system of sports cheating in the Olympics and other international competitions. The 323-page report implicated Russian coaches, trainers, doctors and, most worryingly, antidoping authorities in helping athletes obtain banned performance-enhancing drugs and cover up failed drug tests. The report revealed the most extensive state-sponsored sports doping program since the 1970s. It was unclear whether Mr. Kamayev had any value as a witness to the continuing World Anti-Doping Agency investigation. The inquiry into doping and cover-ups in international sports has spread beyond Russia, to elite Kenyan distance runners and to senior African officials accused of blackmail and taking bribes. At the time of the report’s release, Russian officials said that they had been the targets of Western bias springing from recent East-West political tensions. The Sports Ministry, though, acted quickly to clean up the national antidoping program, lest the track-and-field team be disqualified from the Olympics this summer in Rio de Janeiro. Officials such as Mr. Kamayev resigned within weeks amid efforts to avoid a suspension. A laboratory in London now tests Russian Olympic athletes. Source