Baranov urges doping investigation into Kenya, Ethiopia

Baranov urges doping investigation into Kenya, Ethiopia
The sports agent who ignited the worldwide investigation into corruption involving senior figures in the IAAF and Russian Athletics has called for the authorities to look at doping in other countries.

Andrey Baranov, who wrote a signed deposition to the IAAF in April 2014 describing bribery and extortion at the highest levels of the sport, said it was wrong for the authorities to simply focus on Russia.

"There should be a similar investigation into countries like Kenya and Ethiopia too," said Baranov. "Their top athletes are earning far more than the Russians, yet their levels of testing are very limited."

With Western media advocating that Russian athletes should face international suspension, Baranov says the country should have the chance to clean itself up first.

"I agree 100 percent with WADA [the World Anti-Doping Agency] that things have to change," he said. "But Russia has a new president of the federation and a new head coach who are doing their best to clean up the sport. Maybe it is not as fast as some would like, but new and ambitious people are in positions of power."

Baranov also claims Russia is being singled out, with Lamine Diack, the former president of the IAAF, being investigated by police but no-one suggesting that the IAAF should be suspended until it can prove it’s clean.

Although praised by the former head of WADA, Dick Pound, during the presentation of his report on Monday, Baranov admitted he is concerned about possible repercussions.

"Of course I'm worried, but what are you going to do?" he said. "It had to be done for the future. Afterwards I heard from coaches that runners I represented had been told to leave me - it was like blackmail. I try to help athletes defend their rights, but nobody explains in Russia what sort of rights they have."

"But next month the ethics committee is due to report and hopefully the bad people will be exposed and thrown out of the sport forever."

Baranov confirmed his client, Liliya Shobukhova - a London and three-time Chicago Marathon winner who was stripped of her titles in 2014 because of anomalies in her athlete's biological passport - had worked closely with the authorities.

"Liliya is cooperating with WADA and the IAAF commission and has done so much to expose this corruption which took place between the IAAF and the Russian Athletics Federation as well as between other athletes and other international bodies," Baranov said.

Shobukhova was allowed to compete at the London 2012 Olympics after allegedly paying money to Russian officials during that year.

READ MORE: World Anti-Doping Agency calls for Russia to be suspended from athletics over alleged doping fraud

She was banned in 2014, but Baranov said it was unfair because Shobukhova was a "product of a system which was exposed by WADA" where athletes were often encouraged to dope - or were frozen out.

"Liliya was also brave to speak out, but some Russians don't 100 percent understand what she did because it was not published. Not many people know what she did and what she went through."