Vitaly Smirnov, member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and chief of Russia’s newly-created doping watchdog, has rejected allegations of Russia having a doping program at the state level.

Smirnov also vowed to create a totally transparent anti-doping mechanism and remarked Russia is determined to achieve an absolutely transparent doping control system but expects the same from other countries as well. The chief of Russia’s newly-created doping watchdog said our task is to create an absolutely transparent system and we are ready to invite any experts but we expect the same system to be formed everywhere. Smirnov also commented that Russian anti-doping policies should be handed over to the Health Ministry and it would not ask the government for money, in order to ensure its independence. Smirnov also said we are counting on the necessary and modest subsidies from the Olympic committee.

The new Russian anti-doping commission head previously served as the minister of sport of the Russian Federation from 1981 to 1990 and was a full member of the IOC from 1971 to 2015.

Smirnov went on to remark he would meet Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren (at the Rio Games) who recently submitted report that the Russian Sports Ministry actively participated in swapping samples at its laboratories in Moscow and Sochi. In the McLaren report, it was also claimed that Federal Security Service (FSB) of Russia was involved in the alleged doping and cover-up scheme.

Russian Olympic Committee President Aleksandr Zhukov announced the creation of a public anti-doping commission headed by Smirnov the day the International Olympic Committee decided to allow Russian athletes to compete at the Rio Games and left the decision to ban Russian athletes to individual federations. While creating the commission, Zhukov welcomed the IOC’s decision not to impose a blanket ban forbidding all of Russia’s athletes from competing at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. The Russian Olympic Committee President commented the IOC decision was rather a balanced decision and said the Executive Board of International Olympic Committee decided that clean Russian athletes should be allowed to compete in the Olympic Games but added a number of steps must be queued out and a number of requirements must be met.

Zhukov also said these are at the same time very serious requirements and conditions regarding athletes from Russia. The ROC President said athletes from other countries with a doping record have not been banned from the Olympics, while Russian athletes with previous records have been effectively banned from the Games.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said we believe that the IOC decision is a positive decision, and we regard it positively. The spokesman added we definitely welcome the ultimate solution, which allows so-called ‘clean’ athletes to take part in the Olympics after an endorsement from international federations.

Russian Vladimir Putin called for the introduction of unified international standards for doping controls. Putin added Russia must show that it is fully committed to a clean and honest fight and that it is ready for a real partnership with the sporting world in its opposition to the use of doping.

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