The RusAF is dealing with another crisis after its anti-doping coordinator was placed under house arrest ©Getty Images

Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF) anti-doping coordinator Robert Popov has been placed under house arrest in connection with an embezzlement case.

According to Russia's official state news agency TASS, Popov faces charges of being complicit in large-scale embezzlement and has been detained for a period of at least two months.

Popov and former Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) deputy chairman Gennady Aleshin are suspected of "aiding in misappropriation or embezzlement by an organised group or on an especially large scale", TASS reported.

Criminal proceedings have been opened in the case, linked to the arrest of Alexander Kravtsov, the head of the Centre of Sports Preparation for Russian national teams.

Kravtsov, Russia’s Chef de Mission at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games, is suspected of employing several people who did not carry out any work into various positions that received a salary.

It is understood the amount paid out came to more than RUB14 million (£140,000/€160,000/$185,000).

The case centres on allegations of embezzlement against Alexander Kravtsov, first left ©Getty Images
The case centres on allegations of embezzlement against Alexander Kravtsov, first left ©Getty Images

Popov's arrest marks the latest crisis for the scandal-hit RusAF, which has been suspended as a member of World Athletics since November 2015 following allegations of state-sponsored doping.

Russian athletics received a boost in March when World Athletics reinstated the programme which allows competitors from the country to participate at major events as neutrals.

The decision came in time for next month's delayed Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

The RusAF is still battling to restore its status with the global governing body and President Irina Privalova - who took over from Peter Ivanov following his resignation due to the sanctions imposed by the World Anti-Doping Agency on the country as a result of the doping scandal - claimed Popov being placed under house arrest would not impact its efforts.

"As far as we know, the detention of Robert Popov was the result of activities at his previous place of work, he has been working in ARAF [RusAF] only since November 2019," Privalova told TASS. 

"His arrest, I hope, will not affect the process of restoring ARAF in its international rights. 

"Anti-doping activities in the Federation are headed by another employee, and the work will be continued in the required volume."