Russia has dismissed Yuri Ganus, the outspoken head of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency. An audit alleged “irregularities” in RUSADA finances, but Ganus says the report was fabricated to target him for his stand against doping.
Ganus was appointed to lead RUSADA three years ago, as Russia was in the midst of a nationwide doping scandal. About a year after the McLaren Reports detailed a massive, state-sponsored doping program in Russia, Ganus was named the Director General of RUSADA.
He’s been surprisingly critical of his own country in the post. Last October, Ganus publicly alleged that Russia had manipulated thousands of drug tests to protect athletes. When Russia was handed a four-year international sporting ban that would keep the country out of the 2020 and 2022 Olympics, Ganus told the media that Russia would have “no chance” of getting the ban overturned in court.
Now, the BBC reports that an audit of RUSADA revealed financial irregularities. Ganus says the report was “deliberately fabricated” in order to target him for his very public criticisms of Russia over the doping scandal. He was unanimously removed as head of the organization.
Lawyer Mikhail Bukhanov will lead the organization until RUSADA finds a new director.
Ganus has previously made references to his own safety in Russia based on his actions while leading RUSADA. In July, he tweeted to clarify that he loved life and would not commit suicide – a reference to both of the men who previously held his position at RUSADA, who died within weeks of each other in 2016.