Skip to main content

Russian Ugarov Faces 4-Year Ban for Kanazawa Marathon Victory Post-ARAF Suspension

http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20151118-00000057-jij-spo
http://www.sponichi.co.jp/sports/news/2015/11/18/kiji/K20151118011531820.html

translated and edited by Brett Larner

On Nov. 17 the Russian Federation (ARAF) announced that it intends to impose a suspension of up to four years on marathoner Victor Ugarov for running in and winning the Nov. 15 Kanazawa Marathon after the IAAF's provisional suspension of the ARAF.  On Nov. 13 the IAAF voted to provisionally suspend the ARAF in response to revelations of systematic doping in Russia, a move which included a ban on Russian athletes competing internationally.  As such Ugarov was ineligible to participate in the Kanazawa Marathon but nevertheless ran the Nov. 15 race, which he won in a PB of 2:17:19.  A JAAF spokesperson indicated that Ugarov's mark will now be annulled.

ARAF officials did not know of Ugarov's participation in the Kanazawa Marathon and are launching an investigation.  At the same time they pointed out that, "It is not physically possible to track and notify every single athlete.  As such, if anything the fault for his participation is that of the race organizers who allowed him to run."  Kanazawa Marathon organizers commented, "We are confirming the facts of the situation and discussing what is to be done."

Translator's note: At the time of the race Kanazawa Marathon officials were quoted as saying that there was "no problem" with Ugarov's participation since he was not a registered ARAF member.  Ugarov, one of at least two Russians to compete in the race, is from Kanazawa's sister city of Irkutsk, Russia.  No word yet on whether the Kanazawa Marathon will also face sanctions.

Comments

Brett Larner said…
The part of this that bums me out the most is that since Ugarov was there as part of a sister city relationship you just know that they let him run out of politeness, that it would have been rude to stop a guest of honor from running. Now look at the mess they're in. Undone by omotenashi. Sad.
TokyoRacer said…
Typical Japanese attitude. "Oh, here in our little corner of the world, we just do our own thing. What happens in the rest of the world doesn't affect us. Refugees? That's someone else's problem. Doping? That's someone else's problem."
Matt said…
"It is not physically possible to track and notify every single athlete."
Twitter, Facebook, email. Those would have been a good a start.
One article mentioned returning prize money and appearance fees. I didn't see anything about prize money on the Kanazawa Marathon site, and I can't imagine they would pay an appearance fee for a person coming from a sister city.
The ARAF site shows Ugarov getting 6th at the Russian National Marathon championships in May, which must mean he is a part of the ARAF. This article http://mainichi.jp/shimen/news/20151119ddm041050093000c.html has that the Kanazawa Marathon organizers were told that the runners "did not belong to the ARAF." Why would the Russian contingent say that they were not members? Or was there something lost in the translation? There was a proficient Russian-Japanese translator for the interview after the race. Were the race organizers just saying what they wanted to hear?
The biggest bummer is that there was an awesome battle for 2nd-3rd between two local runners coming down to the last 300 meters or so, and the entire TV coverage of the lead was of Ugarov running alone, the announcers trying to think of things to say about him. It would have been much more entertaining and meaningful for everybody (viewers and racers) involved if the two locals had their time in the spotlight.
The results page of the Kanazawa Marathon is メンテナンス中 at the moment, probably updating the results. I think the entire Kanazawa Marathon needs some serious maintenance, not just the results section.
TokyoRacer said…
Oh, I'm pretty sure every race in Japan pays appearance money to any foreign pro athlete who runs. This is just a very Japanese thing to do.
Not only for races, but for anything. For example, a newspaper/magazine wants to interview me about my running club. I go meet the person and talk to them, not having asked for/discussed getting anything in return. As we part, they hand me an envelope with 5,000 or 10,000 yen "transportation" money. (Which cost me about 800 yen). This is so common that I would be surprised if they didn't give me anything.
So for a pro, coming from overseas to run in the race, of course they get a nice fat envelope.
Brett Larner said…
Likewise, I'd be surprised if there weren't an envelope of cash involved. Prior to Tokyo virtually no Japanese races had public prize money.
Maybe Ugarov is a pure russian amateur runner ?... ah, ah, ah !

Most-Read This Week

Kawauchi Named Captain of Japanese National Team for London World Championships

At a JAAF event at the British Embassy in Tokyo on July 21, marathoner Yuki Kawauchi (30, Saitama Pref. Gov't) was named men's captain of the Japanese national team for next month's London World Championships. Javelin throw national record holder Yuki Ebihara (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) was chosen as women's captain.

In a wide-ranging and impassioned speech 4 minutes and 20 seconds long, Kawauchi stoked the team's morale as he told attendees, "I think that there are athletes here today who look at London as just a checkpoint along the way to the Tokyo Olympics. But as a representative of Japan it is not enough just to be there competing. I feel it strongly. You must produce results at this event, the London World Championships. This is the task assigned to each and every one of us. It is critical that we work seriously to achieve our goals. The Japanese people want nothing less. What can we as athletes do for them? More than just wearing the uniform, each of us mus…

'$500,000 USD Prized Asian Premier Marathon Series 2017-18 Launched in Beijing'

http://athleticsasia.org/index.php/k2-component/143-500-000-usd-prized-asian-premier-marathon-series-2017-18-launched-in-beijing

A very interesting World Marathon Majors-style development with prize money only for Asian athletes. Equally interesting is the absence of a Japanese race in the series. Japanese marathoners would dominate the series if they ran its three component races, their only real current competition in Asia coming from East African-born Bahraini athletes.

Hayakawa and Ichiyama Win Shibetsu Half

2nd in 2015 and 3rd last year, Tsubasa Hayakawa (Toyota) finally succeeded in scoring 1st at the Shibetsu Half Marathon, outrunning 2013-14 winner Masato Imai (Toyota Kyushu) by 6 seconds to win in 1:03:38. Hayakawa pushed it from the early stages of the race, Imai the only one to try to stay with him but ultimately losing touch. 2016 Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon winner Melaku Abera (Kurosaki Harima) was 3rd in 1:03:51.

士別ハーフマラソン
日差しが強くなってきました…💦 pic.twitter.com/qRfUei3aRt — はたのまき (@machakin77) July 23, 2017
The women's field was split between two distances, 10 km and half marathon. Kanako Takemoto (Daihatsu) won the 10 km in 34:27 by a margin of almost 10 seconds over an Otsuka Seiyaku trio led by Ayaka Inoue. 2017 National Cross-Country champion and last year's 10 km runner-up Mao Ichiyama (Wacoal) took the top spot in the half marathon, outrunning teammate and national record holder Kayoko Fukushi and others to win in 1:14:01. Fukushi finished 4th in 1:15:41 behind last ye…