BC-ATH--Russian Doping-Kazarin,132

Russian track coach admits to breaking doping ban

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A top Russian track coach has admitted breaking his life ban for doping offenses. Vladimir Kazarin, who once coached Olympic gold medalist Maria Savinova and the athlete-turned-whistleblower Yulia Stepanova, tells Russian state broadcaster Match TV that accusations he took a group of athletes for a secret training camp are true.

MOSCOW (AP) — A top Russian track coach has admitted breaking his life ban for doping offenses.

Vladimir Kazarin, who once coached Olympic gold medalist Maria Savinova and the athlete-turned-whistleblower Yulia Stepanova, tells Russian state broadcaster Match TV that accusations he continued working with athletes after he was banned in 2017 are true.

Kazarin says he grew a beard in a failed bid to avoid detection. However, he was found at a training camp in Kyrgyzstan by staff from the Russian anti-doping agency, which says it identified seven athletes including Artyom Denmukhametov, a former world championship competitor.

Kazarin says he was warned to stop coaching but carried on because he felt let down by Russian athletics officials and "I'd spent my whole life working in athletics."

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