2 Lithuanian national track cycling team coaches suspected of doping distribution
Police in Klaipėda have brought formal suspicions against two coaches of the Lithuanian track cycling national team as part of a pre-trial investigation into prohibited doping substances.
Romualdas Bakutis, president of the Lithuanian Cycling Federation and vice-president the Lithuanian National Olympic Committee, has confirmed BNS that sprint cycling coach Antanas Jakimavičius is one of the two suspected coaches.
"Yes, it's about coach Antanas Jakimavicius. If the suspicions prove to be true, the federation will react in the strongest manner. We can't tolerate such things," Bakutis said.
"But it's very important whether these were the coach's personal affairs and how much this concerns athletes," the official said.
"In fact, we have quite gifted female athletes with Olympic hopes. In cooperation with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), we immediately gave the coordinates of the athletes. Samples have been taken from the six main female athletes," he added.
In the course of their investigation, which was launched based on a statement from the Lithuanian Anti-Doping Agency, law-enforcement officials in Klaipėda received information that the track cycling national team's coaches could have been involved in the distribution of the illegal doping substances that we seized in April from Bronislovas Vyšniauskas, president of the Lithuanian Weightlifting Federation, the port city's police said on Thursday.
Police investigators last week carried out searches at the Panevezys Center for Physical Education and Sports and the suspects' homes. They found a large amount of suspected doping substances and an amount of suspected psychotropic drugs.
The two cycling coaches were placed in police custody on suspicions of unlawful possession of doping substances for distribution purposes, an offense that is punishable by fine, arrest or up to four years in prison.
The Lithuanian Cycling Federation was a week ago contacted by WADA over certain female athletes trained by Jakimavičius and samples were taken from them, Bakutis told the BNS.
Vysniauskas has denied any wrongdoing.