The former head of Russia's anti-doping agency RUSADA, Nikita Kamayev, who resigned last year over scandalous allegations of state-sanctioned doping, has died aged 50, TASS state news agency reported. File October 21, 2013. Picture: AFP PHOTO/VASILY MAXIMOV
The former head of Russia's anti-doping agency RUSADA, Nikita Kamayev, who resigned last year over scandalous allegations of state-sanctioned doping, has died aged 50, TASS state news agency reported. File October 21, 2013. Picture: AFP PHOTO/VASILY MAXIMOV

MOSCOW — The former head of Russian antidoping agency Rusada, Nikita Kamayev, who resigned last year over allegations of state-sanctioned doping, has died aged 50 years, Tass state news agency reported.

Kamayev, who resigned as Rusada’s executive director in December, died on Sunday after suddenly feeling ill while skiing, the former general director of the antidoping agency, Ramil Khabriyev, said late on Sunday.

"Sadly, Nikita has passed away. What happened looks like a massive heart attack," Mr Khabriyev said, adding that he was not aware of Kamayev having had heart problems before.

Kamayev resigned along with three other Rusada top officials after a report by a World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) independent commission accused Russia of routine violations of testing standards and allowing suspended athletes to compete.

Both Rusada and Moscow’s antidoping laboratory were suspended over the bombshell report. The officials resigned after President Vladimir Putin called for Russian officials, trainers and athletes to take responsibility for engaging in, or abetting, doping. Kamayev had served as Rusada’s acting director since 2011.

His death came as inspectors from the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) were due to start a two-day visit to Russia to evaluate antidoping efforts, following a ban imposed on Russian athletes from international competition over the claims.

Kamayev had initially responded defiantly to the Wada report released in November, branding the suspension of Moscow’s antidoping laboratory "utter nonsense" and ridiculing the allegations as reminiscent of "the epoch of James Bond".

"I have a holster, a pistol, and every day I go to the basements of Lubyanka," he scoffed to journalists in November, using the informal name for the KGB/FSB security service headquarters building in central Moscow.

AFP