Nikita Kamayev, the former head of the Russian anti-doping agency RUSADA, died on Monday at the age of 52. “Presumably, the cause of death was a massive heart attack,” wrote RUSADA in a press release.

Kamayev helmed RUSADA for almost five years, before resigning in December after the release of a World Anti-Doping Agency report that detailed massive state-sponsored doping and cheating in Russian track and field. The Russian Track Federation was formally suspended by the IAAF, and as things stand won’t be allowed to participate in the upcoming Rio Olympics.

While a 52-year-old dying from a heart attack is far from unprecedented, those who knew Kamayev seem especially surprised by his death. Via The Guardian:



The former Rusada general director Ramil Khabriev told the Tass news agency he believed Kamayev, 52, had a heart attack after cross-country skiing.

“I’ve been told that he was out cross-country skiing, came home, and felt pain in the area of the heart,” Khabriev said. “I’d never heard him complain of anything to do with his heart. Perhaps his wife knew about some sort of problem.”

The acting director of Rusada, Anna Antseliovich, told state news agency R-Sport: “This is a big loss and surprise for us. He never complained about his heart and wasn’t sick.”

Kamayev isn’t even the first former RUSADA bigwig to die this month. Vyacheslav Sinev, who helped found RUSADA in 2008 and ran it for three years, died on February 3 of unspecified causes. He was the chairman of RUSADA’s board when the first WADA report came out, and resigned along with Kamayev and other leadership figures.

Photo via AP

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