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Thursday 26, Oct 2017

British Government Rules Out Criminalization Of Doping In Sport

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British sports minister Tracey Crouch has said drug cheats in British sport will not be jailed.

The UK government was prompted to review anti-doping rules after recent scandals. Italy, France, and Australia are among some of the countries that have already criminalized doping. A big majority of anti-doping agencies worldwide do not want doping to be criminalized as they are of the view that getting convictions will be difficult and sporting sanctions are more relevant.

Crouch said an extensive review found that criminalizing doping could make it tougher to investigate. The British sports minister added we looked into this very carefully, and conducted an extensive review into the issue around criminalization and we actually genuinely believe that the system we have here in the United Kingdom is one of the most robust systems in the world. Crouch also commented that we feel that the idea of criminalization would change the burden of proof, would make it actually harder to investigate these incidents and that actually you could end up with a lesser punishment if you went through the criminal procedures. The sports minister also remarked that we genuinely think that the system we have in place is the right one.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), UK Anti-Doping (UKAD), and others have warned against criminalization. It has been argued that countries that have made it an offence have struggled to prosecute under the ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ standard of proof as sport uses the ‘balance of probabilities’ standard in anti-doping cases.

However, Crouch argued that UK Anti-Doping should get more powers to tackle cheats and their enablers. The sports minister was also persuaded by UK Anti-Doping of the need for a review of therapeutic use exemptions (TUEs). Therapeutic use exemptions have been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons ever since Fancy Bears, the Russian hacking group, stole medical data from WADA and revealed the use of banned substances for “medicinal purposes”, unlike others who are not permitted to use these drugs.

The sports minister condemned Greg Clarke, the Football Association Chairman, who recently made comments about gay athletes. Former basketball star John Amaechi, one of Britain’s most high-profile gay athletes, recently disclosed that Clarke paid a visit to his office in March to discuss how the FA could persuade gay male players to come out while still in the game.

Amaechi, now a leading psychologist, communicated to Clarke that this was the wrong strategy. The former basketball star also said the Football Association is required to do much more to promote diversity and equality throughout the organization. In reply, Clarke remarked he would get Amaechi sacked and the British government would never intervene. Crouch agreed to the point of Amaechi about FA inaction on homophobia and remarked she has been asking the Football Association “to do more” for some time. The sports minister said anybody involved in football should feel confident enough to be able to come out. Crouch also commented that she thinks the entire Mark Sampson (who made racist remarks to players Eniola Aluko and Drew Spence) affair and other events have really tarnished what it is the FA was trying to achieve.

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Tuesday 24, Oct 2017

WADA To Investigate Claims Of Systematic Doping In China

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Intelligence Unit of the World Anti-Doping Agency would investigate claims that more than 10,000 Chinese athletes used banned substances.

Former Olympic team doctor Xue Yinxian made the claims and alleged that her comments were associated with athletes in the 1980s and 1990s. Yinxian claimed her services were terminated after she refused to provide a banned substance to a gymnast. The whistleblower added athletes as young as 11 were given performance enhancing drugs. She went on to add that China’s medals in major tournaments during that period were won through the use of banned substances. Yinxian went on to add that doping in China existed in a wide range of sports including swimming, volleyball, basketball, table tennis, diving, football, athletics, gymnastics, and weightlifting.

In a program on German channel ARD, Yinxian called for all medals awarded to athletes of the nation during that period to be withdrawn. The whistleblower, now seeking political asylum in Germany, said people in China only believed in doping. She also commented that anyone who took doping substances was seen to be defending the honor of the country and anyone against doping damaged the country and anyone who endangered the country now sits in prison. The former Olympic team doctor said anti-doping tests were conducted in China for the only purpose to ensure athletes of the country traveled to competitions without being caught.  The 79-year-old also made similar allegations in 2012.

In a statement, WADA said there would be lots of difficulties prosecuting cases that happened decades ago. In 2003, the WADA Code was introduced and the statute of limitations for prosecuting code violations is 10 years. However, it added that the World Anti-Doping Agency will ensure that, if action is warranted and feasible under the World Anti-Doping Code, the necessary and appropriate steps will be taken. The agency said it as a first step has asked its independent Intelligence and Investigations (I&I) team to initiate an investigative process in order to collect and analyze available information in coordination with external partners.

Last year, it was reported by Chinese state media that all those runners trained under Ma Junren – better known as “Ma’s Army” – were forced to take large doses of illegal drugs over the years. Wang Junxia, one of the most prominent of those runners, once detailed the regime of state-sponsored doping in a letter. In a letter reportedly signed by nine of Wang’s teammates, the Chinese former long-distance runner had written that Junren forced us to take a large dose of illegal drugs. In 1997, Wang retired from the sport having never failed a drugs test. She was honored with a place in the IAAF Hall of Fame for her achievements in 1993. A probe into the claims was confirmed by the International Association of Athletics Federations. The IAAF confirmed any admission of guilt could see Wang’s world records scrapped if legitimacy of the letter is proven.

Chen Zhanghao, the chief physician to the Chinese national teams, had admitted in 2012 that doping took place in China.

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Thursday 21, Sep 2017

NADOs Accused Of Abusing Authority

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The head of a key State Duma has claimed that countries calling for Russia to be banned from Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang next year have exceeded their authority.

Mikhail Degtyarev, chairman of the State Duma Committee on Physical Culture, Sport, Tourism and Youth Affairs, has claimed unfair pressure was being put on the International Olympic Committee to ban Russia. Degtyarev added these are attempts to exert pressure on Russia and the International Olympic Committee and added this is unfair competition. Degtyarev also commented that he is sure that athletes whose anti-doping agencies try to exert pressure on Russia by non-sporting methods would not support this and also commented that everyone acknowledges that without Russian athletes sport cannot be full-fledged in principle.

A total of 17 countries, who are members of the Institute of National Anti-Doping Organizations (iNADO), demanded that Russia be barred from Pyeongchang 2018 after allegations in the McLaren Report of “institutionalized doping” involving the Russian government.

In a statement, the NADOs had said the Russian Olympic Committee was at best negligently oblivious to the corruption of its anti-doping program that was delivered by the Russian Anti-Doping Agency. The statement further reads that the Russian Anti-Doping Agency was complicit, or even an active player, in the corruption and added that many clean athletes were hurt by this, including Russians. The statement said there must be consequences for this gross misconduct.

The iNADO statement was condemned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) President Sir Craig Reedie and the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Reedie accused the NADOs of looking “backwards rather than forwards”.

Russia is likely to escape a blanket ban from next year’s Winter Olympic Games after the calls from a group of National Anti-Doping Organizations (NADOs) to exclude them from Pyeongchang 2018 were dismissed by the IOC. In the past, the IOC had suggested that Russia is likely to avoid a blanket ban when they amended the Olympic Charter to include a statute that allows them to fine teams and athletes for doping and competition manipulation. The developments came as interim reports from two IOC Commissions – led by Samuel Schmid and Denis Oswald – into Russian doping were presented to the membership.

Oswald, who was entrusted with the task of looking into allegations of sample manipulation, claimed they had enough to sanction some of the athletes implicated in the Richard McLaren report. The interim report of Schmid shed little light on the present state of his investigation that was focused on the alleged institutional conspiracy involving the Russian Government.

Oswald added we are working as quickly as we can but at the same time we have to respect the process that is in place. He commented it is a difficult task because we had to go through a lot of documents to find the evidence and it is not an easy case.

IOC members lined up to criticize the NADOs for their statement following the presentations of the reports from Schmid, Oswald, and the World Anti-Doping Agency.

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Thursday 07, Sep 2017

RUSADA Reinstatement Issues Resolved, Says Mutko

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Vitaly Mutko, the Deputy Prime Minister of Russia, has claimed that “almost all” of the issues blocking the reinstatement of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency have been resolved.

Mutko, the country’s former Sports Minister, made this comment after the recent appointment of Yury Ganus as the new director general of RUSADA on August 31.

Since 2015, RUSADA has been suspended by the World Anti-Doping Agency after evidence emerged through a WADA Independent Commission Report that Russia was behind a state-sponsored doping program. The country was barred from taking part in the track and field events at last year’s Olympic Games. Russia was also barred from taking part in the Paralympic Games at Rio 2016. The country is now likely to miss the miss the Winter Olympics and Paralympics in Pyeongchang in February.

A roadmap for the reinstatement of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency has been drawn up by the World Anti-Doping Agency but the body has not yet met all of the necessary criteria.

Mutko however expressed a different view. The Deputy Prime Minister of Russia said almost all the issues concerning the road-map have been resolved. Mutko added it is being implemented and also commented there is going to be an audit in September, and another one ahead of the WADA Foundation Board’s meeting. He went on to say that it will be a waste of money if the membership is not restored.

Mutko added there were as many as 700 candidates for director general, WADA picked six out of them. The 53-year-old Ganus was chosen in a vote by the Russian Olympic Committee and Russian Paralympic Committee. Mutko added the RUSADA Supervisory Board, set up in accordance with WADA’s recommendations, chose one of those six people and added we will hold a meeting with him as soon as the newly appointed director general settles into his new job. The Russian Deputy PM also said we have granted full independence to the Russian Anti-Doping Agency and added WADA in fact has been managing the organization. Mutko also said two independent experts have been active whose work is paid by WADA.

The “Road-map to Code Compliance“, a document that was published by the World Anti-Doping Agency is that the Russian Government through the Ministry of Sport must “publicly accept the reported outcomes” of the Richard McLaren Report. The two editions of McLaren report claimed a sample manipulation scheme at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics and Paralympics at Russia. The report also claimed more than 1,000 Russian athletes were involved in a state-sponsored program. The McLaren report included testimony from former chief of the Russian anti-doping lab who claimed he prepared and provided a cocktail of anabolic steroids and other banned substances to athletes under a state-sponsored doping scheme.

Under WADA requirements, the Supervisory Board of RUSADA must select a new director general via a transparent, external, and objective application and recruitment process that is overseen by two international experts. In addition to this, the Russian Government is required to provide uninterrupted access for international authorities to store urine samples in the Moscow Laboratory that is presently sealed off because of a Federal investigation.

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Tuesday 05, Sep 2017

Meldonium Crisis Contributes To 26.4 Percent Increase In Doping Cases

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Annual report of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has revealed that 26.4 per cent increase in positive doping cases was recorded for 2016 in comparison with similar data for 2015, although this was partly because of the addition of Meldonium as a banned substance.

A total of 4,814 adverse analytical findings (AAFs) were recorded for 2016 in comparison with 3,809 for the previous year. The latter figure included 497 failures for Meldonium, which is a substance only prohibited from January 1, 2016.

A detailed testing report is likely to be published in the fourth quarter of this year.

Tennis superstar Maria Sharapova and swimmer Yulia Efimova were among some of the top Russian and Eastern European stars who failed anti-doping tests for Meldonium. Sharapova and many others claimed they were not aware Meldonium was added to the list of banned substances. A big majority of these athletes have now made a return to competition after it was conceded by the World Anti-Doping Agency that “more research was required” to find out how long the substance remains in the human body. WADA was heavily criticized for the ways in which it first banned the substance and then moderated its attitude to the substance.

The World Anti-Doping Agency even made it a point not to directly respond to the criticism it received from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and other sporting bodies for the way it handled the Russian doping scandal. The response of WADA was justified in a joint opening message by its President Sir Craig Reedie and director general Olivier Niggli.

Reedie and Niggli wrote the Russian doping scandal was one of the most destabilizing incidents for sports in recent memory. They also wrote it has taxed the resources of many of our stakeholders; in particular, it was extremely demanding for the World Anti-Doping Agency and International Federations (IFs) many of which are still managing the fallout. It was further added that WADA has been shoulder to shoulder with our partners and also remarked we have been doing our utmost to support them with their results management and to help them determine if there is sufficient evidence to pursue anti-doping rule violations for their athletes or support personnel.

     Sir Craig and Niggli concluded the World Anti-Doping Agency for 17 years has led the charge against doping in sport in an ever changing and complex environment. They added we are proud of the work that has been accomplished by the WADA team, with limited resources – always striving to meet and exceed the expectations set by our partners in the clean sport community. It was also added that we believe that we have been successful in our mission and also remarked that our goal is to ensure that the clean athlete prevails.

The WADA Annual report listed 10 priorities for the future that include the development of a stronger code compliance system, including “graded and proportionate” sanctions for non-compliant organizations. The priorities included generating more income and strengthening laboratories and the Athlete Biological Passport (ABP) system and improved education and scientific research.

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Wednesday 16, Aug 2017

IOC Orders To Return Medals Defied By Russian Athletes

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Russian three-time Olympic silver medalist Tatyana Firova has decided not to return her silver medals in defiance to orders issued by the International Olympic Committee.

The 33-year-old 400m runner, who failed a re-examined drugs test from the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, argued that “bureaucrats” must share responsibility for the doping scandal. Firova said we sportsmen are performers and we follow the rules that are given to us by the system. The three-time Olympic silver medalist added a normal person can take banned substances if they want to but the athletes are not allowed to.

Firova, who also has to surrender her 4×400-meter relay silver medal from London after the samples of a teammate were retested, remarked she was sentimentally attached to her Olympic hardware.

Meanwhile, the IOC has commented it had already received a number of medals and was in contact with the relevant Olympic committees about the issue.

Former decathlete Alexander Pogorelov, who was stripped of his Olympic diploma for a fourth-place finish in Beijing after Turinabol was found in his sample, said he does not know whether he had lost the medal or not but he has not seen it in a while. Pogorelov, who now heads the sports committee of the city of Bryansk, commented he probably wouldn’t give it back even if he did find it because he thinks he earned it honestly.

In a recent report, an International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) task force monitoring reforms at the Russian federation said it had yet to demonstrate that it has established a strong anti-doping culture within its sport, or that it has created an open environment that encourages whistleblowing. Russia has never acknowledged state support for doping though it has pledged to cooperate with global sports bodies over its anti-doping program. A big majority of Russian officials, athletes, and coaches do not still believe that there was wrongdoing and are of the view that their country is being unfairly targeted.

Some athletes commented that they had not returned the medals as the Russian federation had not simply asked for it. Russian athletics federation president Dmitry Shlyakhtin denied these claims and said they are lying about the fact they were not notified. Shlyakhtin insisted it had contacted them by phone, e-mail, and mail.

The issue of medals not being promptly returned was downplayed by Russian Sports minister Pavel Kolobkov. The Sports minister said many athletes do not give back their medals, not only athletes in Russia.

Organizers of other sports events have also faced obstacles in reclaiming prize money or medals from Russian dopers. The London Marathon has been trying to reclaim money from Liliya Shobukhova, who won the 2010 title and was runner-up in 2011 before she was banned for doping. Shobukhova was sued in Britain and organizers of the marathon are now waiting for a hearing in Russia to have the judgment applied there. The race’s chief executive Nick Bitel said we will spend whatever money it takes to pursue her and get the money back, even if it makes no commercial sense.

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Friday 04, Aug 2017

Russian Athletics Chief Apologizes For Doping Scandal

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Dmitry Shlyakhtin, head of the Russian athletics federation (RusAF), has issued an apology in an address to the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Congress meeting ahead of the World Championships.

Shlyakhtin rendered the public apology for the Russian doping scandal that has seen Russia barred from international track and field competition. The RusAF head remarked the situation with athletics is very difficult indeed and outlined that the Russian athletics federation had been totally overhauled since he took charge in early 2016 and that “radical changes” have been introduced. Shlyakhtin added the initial period was not sufficient to understand the scale of the crisis happening in Russia and added he had delved into this situation and understand that the decision by the IAAF and Council to ban Russia was indeed the right one.

The head of the Russian athletics federation said he would like to apologize to all athletes who have had gold and silver medals snatched from them at competitions. Shlyakhtin also said he wants to assure everyone that his new team will fight doping and what happened will never happen again.

IAAF president Sebastian Coe termed the apology as “a very candid response”. Coe remarked the whole Congress was pleased to recognize that the Russian federation recognized themselves that they have been through some pretty torrid times that they are doing everything they possibly can to make sure that the federation started doing the hard yards of changing the culture around coaching systems and endemic systems that have served, very badly, the athletes. The IAAF president also commented that progress is clearly being made.

Rune Andersen, independent chairman of the IAAF Taskforce looking into doping in Russia, hailed the apology. Andersen remarked it is fair to say that the path has not always been completely smooth and added there have been some bumps along the way, usually in the form of political statements or interventions that have not been entirely helpful. The IAAF Taskforce chairman said he would want to pay tribute to Dmitry Shlyakhtin and the colleagues he brought with him when he was elected as RusAF president in early 2016.

      Andersen added Dmitry clearly understands the need to change the doping culture that clearly existed in Russian athletics in the past and also remarked he understands the harm that culture has cost clean athletes everywhere as the apology he just extended to those cheated out of medals demonstrates. Andersen also commented that it is a measure of the man and an important step on the road to rehabilitation of Russian athletics that he is willing to acknowledge that offence publicly. Andersen insisted that the timeline of return of Russia to international action in November was possible.

Last year, Russia was accused of widespread state-sponsored doping. The athletics team of Russia was barred from last summer’s Rio Olympics and will also miss the IAAF World Championships. The world governing body of athletics however permitted some Russian athletes to compete as neutrals after they had successfully met the exceptional eligibility criteria, essentially demonstrating that they have come through transparent anti-doping testing.

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Thursday 20, Jul 2017

Eight More Russian Athletes Cleared By IAAF To Compete As Neutrals

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The world governing body of athletics has approved eight Russians to compete as neutrals but has declined the applications of a further 53 competitors hoping to be awarded a similar status.

The national athletics federation of Russia (RUSAF) remains suspended as a result of systematic and widespread doping. This means that the majority of Russian athletes will miss next month’s World Championships in London. However, athletes from Russia may apply to compete as neutrals provided they meet stringent criteria.

Under IAAF guidelines, the stringent criteria includes showing they are not directly implicated in any way by failure of their natural federation to put in place adequate systems to protect and promote clean athletes.

In a statement, the International Association of Athletics Federations said it had approved 47 applications this year and rejected 109 but did not disclose names of the athletes whose applications were declined. IAAF president Sebastian Coe remarked we from the beginning have declared this process was about supporting the hopes and aspirations of all clean athletes, including Russian athletes who have been failed by their national system. The IAAF said the participation of all athletes was still subject to formalities and acceptance by individual meeting organizers.

The eight athletes who were recently permitted to compete included Sergei Litvinov, a bronze medalist at the 2014 European championships who previously competed for both Belarus and Germany. The list also includes Alayna Lutkovskaya, the 2014 junior women’s pole vault world champion, and men’s 2013 European under-23 high jump champion Ilya Ivaniuk. The latest athletes to be approved to compete as neutrals, subject to acceptance of their entries by meeting organizers, are Sergey Litvinov (hammer), Danil Lysenko (high jump), Sofia Palkina (hammer), Valery Pronkin (hammer), Vladislav Saraykin (race walk), Ekaterina Sokolenko (3,000m steeplechase).

     Ivaniuk, Pronkin, Litvinov, and Lysenko have qualified for the IAAF World Championship in London due on August 4-13.

In the past, the WADA Independent Commission carried out an investigation into activities of the All-Russia Athletics Federation, the Russian anti-doping agency, Moscow anti-doping laboratory and the Russian Sports Ministry, and announced the results of the probe in November 2015. The commission accused specific sports officials and athletes of doping abuse and involvement in other activities pertaining to violations of international regulations on performance enhancing substances. The work of the Russian anti-doping agency and the Moscow anti-doping laboratory was eventually suspended. The control over anti-doping regulations in Russian sports since January 2016 has been exercised by the Russian anti-doping agency strictly under the supervision of the British anti-doping agency (UKAD).

Recently, the World Anti-Doping Agency granted Russia the right for collection of doping samples under supervision. WADA permitted the Russian Anti-Doping Agency to plan doping tests and collect samples under the supervision of WADA-appointed international experts and UK Anti-Doping. Russian Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov had remarked this is a very important step toward restoring the agency’s status in compliance with the WADA charter. The partial handover of those powers demonstrates trust in the measures taken by Russia to implement the anti-doping policy.

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Tuesday 18, Jul 2017

Russian Athletics Federation To Request Participation Of Racewalker

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The Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF) has remarked it will ask the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) to allow race walker Klavdiya Afanasyeva to compete at the World Championships next month.

The 21-year-old secured qualification for flagship event of the IAAF that is scheduled to take place from August 4 to 13 after she won the women’s 20 kilometers race walk event at the European Under-23 Championships in Polish city Bydgoszcz. This came after Afanasyeva was declared eligible to compete under a neutral banner by the world governing body of athletics. The application of Klavdiya Afanasyeva to the IAAF Doping Review Board was only for the European Under-23 Championships that means she has to apply separately for the right to compete at the World Championships.

The Russian Athletics Federation remains banned from international athletics competitions because of doping allegations, pending its completion of reinstatement criteria. Athletes of the country are allowed to compete as neutral athletes if they can successfully demonstrate they have been operating in an effective testing system.

Andrei Kruporushnikov, sports director of the Russian athletics federation, remarked a request will be now be lodged to the IAAF for the participation of Afanasyeva. Kruporushnikov remarked this is a fantastic result, considering that we are happy with any place on the pedestal and added we will try to do it so that Afanasyeva can compete at the World Championships in London.

The IAAF recently allowed 16 Russian athletes including former world long jump champion Alexsandr Menkov to compete neutrally at global events by the world governing body of athletics. In 2013, Menkov won gold at his home World Championships in Moscow with a personal best and national record of 8.56 meters. Menkov also claimed win at the 2013 European Indoor Championships in Gothenburg after he took silver at the previous year’s World Indoor Championships in Istanbul. The former world long jump champion should now be able to compete under the IAAF banner at the 2017 World Championships.

The list of others cleared to compete neutrally include shot putter Alexsadr Lesnoi and 1,500m champion Valentin Smirnov, two home gold medal winners at the 2013 Summer Universiade in Kazan.  Ilya Shkurenev, a multi-eventer who finished fourth in the decathlon at the 2015 World Championships, is also cleared. The 2014 European bronze medal winning triple jumper Alexey Fedorov and Irina Gordeeva, a high jumper who finished third at the 2012 European Championships are also cleared. Others who have received permission by the IAAF to compete are hammer thrower Danil Danilov, triple jumpers Irina Gemeniuk and Viktoriia Prokopenko, discus throwers Viktor Butenko and Iuliia Maltseva, 400m hurdler Timofey Chalyy,sprinters Alena Maminia and Viacheslav Kolesnichenko, and shot putter Konstantin Lyadusov. Race walker Olga Eliseeva is also cleared to at the European Under-20 Championships taking place in Italian city Grosseto from July 20 to 23.

In a statement, the IAAF had remarked the participation of all these athletes as neutral athletes in international competition is still subject to formalities for eligibility under IAAF Rules being completed and subject to acceptance of their entries by individual meeting organizers.

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Wednesday 12, Jul 2017

Plan To Combat Doping In Sport Approved By Russian Government

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The Russian government has officially approved a national plan to combat doping in sport after the order was signed by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

The 36-point document was developed by the Independent Public Anti-Doping Commission (IPADC) that is led by honorary International Olympic Committee member Vitaly Smirnov. The Russian sports ministry that has been accused in the past of being complicit in a state-sponsored doping program at major sporting events like the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games will coordinate and conduct the plan.

The IPADC said in the initial proposal that was created in February that the measures should be implemented by the end of the year. It is widely believed that this step by Russia will prove beneficial to doping in Russia following allegations of state-sponsored doping and widespread drug scandals involving the nation.

One of the main features of this new plan will be to take back prize money and awards from those who breach anti-doping rules. The Sports Ministry of Russia, headed up by Olympic gold medalist Pavel Kolobkov, has set up a deadline of October 30 for the implementation of anti-doping legislation that meets international law and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Code.

The national plan to combat doping in sport by Russia also features measures associated with allocation of more funds to test Paralympic athletes. It also features creation of agreements with whistleblowers to give legal protection to them in exchange for assisting investigations and preventing those who break anti-doping rules from holding state or non-state posts in physical culture and sports. The Russian sports ministry will focus on the establishment of a legal framework in a bid to restore reputation of the country and its place within the anti-doping movement.

A statement from the Russian Government read the order approved a set of measures aimed at preventing and combating doping in Russian sport, which, in particular, provides the normative legal, organizational, scientific and biomedical support activities in this area, the creation of innovative methods and information technologies to prevent doping, the development of appropriate educational programs interaction with international sports organizations.

The sports ministry of Russia is hopeful that its efforts will assist both the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) and the Russian Paralympic Committee in their reinstatement efforts. The Russian Anti-Doping Agency remains non-compliant with WADA and the Russian Paralympic Committee is still suspended by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC). The Russian Anti-Doping Agency recently overcame a major hurdle on its path to potential reinstatement when the World Anti-Doping Agency allowed them to resume testing last month. The Russian Anti-Doping Agency was granted permission to “plan and coordinate” testing, providing it is carried out under the supervision of WADA-appointed international experts and UK Anti-Doping (UKAD). WADA President Sir Craig Reedie had then remarked WADA recognizes this milestone as a key component of the roadmap towards compliance while there is still more to be done. The Russian Anti-Doping Agency has been non-compliant since November 2015 ever since findings of the WADA Independent Commission emerged in the context of state-sponsored doping by Russia in athletics.

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