The international Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has barred Russian doctor Sergei Portugalov for life, effective March 10th, 2017, for doping violations. Portugalov is a central figure in the alleged state-sponsored doping system in Russia and has specifically been identified as a doctor that advised the Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF).
The RusAF was barred from competing at last year’s Olympic Games as a result of what the IAAF (international track federation) believed was a significant enough level of doping to warrant suspending the entire federation. RusAF is still suspended, which meant that the CAS in this case acted as the first-decision body for sanctioning Portugalov rather than in its more traditional role as a mediator or arbitrator.
According to The Times of London, Portugalov is believed to have provided banned substances to Russian athletes primarily in track & field, but also in other sports (including swimming).
Portugalov’s lifetime ban means that he will join a list of WADA suspended Athlete Support Personnel. Under WADA rules, any athlete who participates in a WADA-governed sport or federation (which includes most of the world’s swimming) is prohibited from working with a suspended individual. These rules were enhanced, and the first list published, in 2015. Associated with known suspended persons can result in a sanction to the athletes themselves.
WADA recommended in 2015 that Portugalov not be affiliated with any sports programs, saying he was “very active in the conspiracy to cover up athletes’ positive tests in exchange for a percentage of their winnings.”