Coronavirus: Russia suspends doping testing amid outbreak

The move comes after president Vladimir Putin told Russians except those working in essential sectors to stay home next week due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The testing suspension covers a longer period because of the risk of staff being stranded away from home.(Representative Image)   -  AP

The Russian anti-doping agency is suspending all tests for 10 days in response to measures implemented by the government to fight the coronavirus.

The move comes after President Vladimir Putin told Russians except those working in essential sectors to stay home next week.

RUSADA deputy CEO Margarita Pahnotskaya said the testing suspension covers a longer period because of the risk of staff being stranded away from home. Tests stopped Friday and will resume on April 6.

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Pakhnotskaya says the World Anti-Doping Agency has been notified.

She says “we studied all the consequences and agreed we should follow the order. And it was agreed with WADA. I wrote them a letter yesterday.”

A Russia-based basketball league with teams in five countries has abandoned its season without declaring a champion because of the coronavirus outbreak.

VTB United League CEO Ilona Korstin says it’s not appropriate to continue the season “in the current situation when borders are closed, teams can’t train at basketball arenas and clubs have to allow foreign players to go home.”

Korstin says the league will start preparing for the 2020-21 season.

Russian club BC Khimki was leading the league with an 18-1 record when it was suspended.