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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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Tuesday 20, Jun 2017

  EWF President Attacks IWF Leadership After IOC Warning

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Antonio Urso, the President of the European Weightlifting Federation (EWF), has criticized those in charge of the sport after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) gave a December deadline to address “massive” doping problems.

The IOC’s Executive Board in Lausanne last Friday cut a total of 64 weightlifting quotas from the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. A men’s weight category, which still has to be decided, will also have to be removed following the recommendation by executive board of the IOC. In the last few months, a total of 49 weightlifters have been caught for doping in the retesting of samples from the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games in Beijing and London, respectively.

The IWF is likely to be omitted from the sports program for the 2024 Olympic Games if it fails to satisfy the IOC that improvements have been made by the December deadline.

Urso, who stood unsuccessfully to replace Tamás Aján as the President of IWF at an Electoral Congress in Bangkok late last month, criticized the way the sport of weightlifting has been operated in recent years.

Urso wrote in a letter, published on the EWF website, in which he said the IOC has presented the IWF with a bill, in a timely, surgical and drastic manner, but it will be the entire weightlifting world who will suffer the consequences, not just Aján and those who re-elected him. Urso also commented that a tough, drastic response and there is no going back and also said a curious follow up to the election of a person who has always boasted that weightlifting is in a strong position and not in any danger.

      The President of the European Weightlifting Federation also said it is definitely the worst start for a new four-year Olympic cycle, regardless of who is at the helm of the International Federation. Urso also said there is however no need for dissection or sarcasm, nor for exceptional political skills to observe that this is by no means great acknowledgement for the work done, apparently not so impeccably, in terms of development in favor of this sport, by the re-elected President.

The EWF President also said he must admit that this news from the IOC has left me utterly saddened, because if certain people had been a little more farsighted and a lot less thirsty for power, today we would be talking about something different. Urso also remarked this sport obviously needs to be completely reset in order to start over again with new rules and, more importantly, new people.

In a conciliatory statement, the IWF promised that a “high level task force” will recommend the different measures and initiatives to accomplish the due goals. The statement reads the Olympic Movement and weightlifting was indeed shocked by the result of the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games reanalysis and we recognize our responsibility as governing body of the Olympic sport of weightlifting. The statement also reads that the Executive Board is this time again ready to adopt immediate actions and sanctions stating that the IWF has always been fighting with determination against doping and those willing to affect the integrity of weightlifting sport. It was further said that the IWF, recognizing that there is always way for improvement, aims to strengthen the collaboration between the IOC, NOCs, and Member Federations that is vital for an effective common fight and prevent such situations.

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Tuesday 16, May 2017

  Fundamental Changes Required In Sport, Says EWF President

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The highest-ranking weightlifting administrator of Europe has remarked the sport is required to make fundamental changes to its culture, its rules and the way competitions are presented.

Antonio Urso, President of the European Weightlifting Federation (EWF), told member nations at their Congress that we need a new way and direction. The EWF President recounted his embarrassment at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro when he heard spectators laughing about the seemingly endless stream of doping cases that have sent weightlifting to an all-time low in terms of public opinion.

The Italian said he was at one of the medal ceremonies and he could clearly hear the people behind him who said those medals will be in different hands in a few years. Urso added we are losing credibility as a sport.

The spectators were reacting to results of the retesting of samples from the Olympic Games at Beijing 2008 and London 2012 by the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC). The sport of weightlifting accounted for nearly half of all retrospective positives with 30 athletes stripped of their medals and 48 cheats caught. Of the 48 positive tests, 42 were from former Soviet Bloc countries. Seven lifters tested positive including all three medalists in the notorious 2012 men’s 94 kilograms competition. Tomasz Zielinski of Poland was promoted from ninth place to bronze medal position but was sent home from Rio 2016 for a doping offence.

Speaking a day before the European Junior and Under-23 Championships, Urso said 2016 has been the worst year ever for our sport, but he is not surprised. The President of the European Weightlifting Federation also commented he three editorials in the European Federation magazine in 2008, 2009, and 2010 and underlined that some of the results were not human results, that some women were becoming a man, that doping was beyond control. Urso also said some people attacked him unfortunately and said he was destroying weightlifting but today those people can see all too clearly what everybody else can see that doping is destroying us. Urso went on to comment that weightlifting will be nothing if we lose our place in the Olympic Games. The Italian also said the National Federations should accept “a new vision” for the sport.

Urso believes the biggest need for change is in the culture of coaching and in holding coaches responsible, and punishing them, for doping by their athletes. The EWF President said the coach has the highest responsibility in matters of doping, and yet you can have someone as head coach of a national team who was banned for life as a lifter for doping and added this is unacceptable.

Urso will stand for Presidency of the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) next May against Tamas Ajan and two or three other candidates. Ajan has been President since 2000 and was secretary general of the IWF for 25 years. Urso said he has full respect for the IWF and the rules but we need a new way, a new direction and commented that we are running fast into the future of the sport. Urso also said the organization and presentation is really old and it is up to the National Federations at the election in May whether to stay the same or go for a new vision.

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Friday 23, Dec 2016

  IOC Opens Doping Cases Against Russian Olympic Athletes

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The International Olympic Committee has announced it will reanalyze samples of twenty eight Russian competitors. The samples of these athletes were highlighted in the Richard McLaren report that outlined a state-sponsored doping program in Russia between 2011 and 2015.

The report, which was commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency, disclosed that coffee and salt were used for manipulating samples of Russian athletes. This report also revealed cases of female ice hockey players having male urine samples.  McLaren did not revealed names of athletes and said revealing names of the athletes publically should be done by international sports federations and not him personally.

The second part of McLaren report confirmed the findings voiced in the first part that Russian state officials and the Federal Security Service (FSB) were involved in doping manipulations. McLaren remarked they particularly swapped the doping results at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. He also mentioned that doping tests of two more Russian athletes, who won four gold medals of the 2014 Sochi Olympics, were falsified.

Following the first part of the report, Russia’s track and field and weightlifting teams were banned from the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil. The International Paralympic Committee barred the entire whole Russian Paralympic team from taking part in the 2016 Summer Paralympics. The samples are now being re-analyzed at the Lausanne Anti-Doping Laboratory. The IOC said the cases are not yet doping failures but that the tampering alone could lead to sanctions.

IOC president Thomas Bach said this is the immediate follow-up to Professor McLaren’s Report. Bach went on to add that the International Olympic Committee will go beyond the findings of the report by reanalyzing all the samples of all the Russian athletes who participated in the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014, as well as all those who participated in the London 2012 Olympic Games. The IOC would retest samples from the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver in the wake of the McLaren report that stated that as much as 1,000 Russian athletes including medalists had benefited from the doping program.

In London Olympics, Russia won 72 medals, 21 of which were gold medals, and 33 medals at Sochi, 13 of which were gold.

Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said abuse of performance enhancing drugs in sports is a global problem. Peskov added all our statements regarding our readiness to cooperate with international sports organizations remain unanswered and more frequently being brushed aside. The Russian presidential spokesman also said the incidents and the data however that had been recently revealed point to the fact that we are not dealing with some sort of a doping crisis that can be attributed solely to Russia. Peskov also said this is rather a crisis engulfing the entire global anti-doping system.

Peskov also said we have in fact encountered a shocking doping scandal in our country. The spokesman said President Vladimir Putin and our senior sports representatives have been repeatedly stating the inadmissibility of doping use in our country, our resolute drive to fight this evil and to eradicate doping in sports.

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Sunday 28, Aug 2016

  Campaign To Discredit Whistleblower Ramped Up By Russia

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Moscow is ramping up a campaign against the whistleblower, Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov, the former director of Russia’s anti-doping laboratory, after being enraged by its blanket ban from the Paralympic Games and the exclusion of scores of its athletes from the Olympic Games.

Rodchenkov provided detailed evidence of state-sponsored doping to The New York Times in May. The former Russian anti-doping lab chief described an elaborate scheme by Russia’s intelligence agency, the Federal Security Service (FSB) to tamper with urine samples in midnight during the last Winter Olympics, held in Sochi, Russia. Rodchenkov also revealed he had created a special cocktail for Russian athletes that mixed banned drugs and hard liquor.

Rodchenkov’s claims were confirmed by a two-month inquiry into allegations of Russian doping commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency. Richard H. McLaren, a Canadian lawyer and the head of the inquiry, called accounts of the Russian true beyond reasonable doubt and cited forensic evidence, computer records, and corroborating witnesses that backed it up.

The world governing body of athletics, the IAAF, then banned the entire Russian track and field team from the Rio Olympics. More than 100 Russian athletes, nearly one-third of the squad, were ultimately barred from competing in the Olympics.

A Moscow court has now ordered the seizure of property belonging to him while hearing a criminal case filed against the doctor. This order is part of a sustained effort by Russian officials and state-run news media to discredit the man who has been reviled in Russia as a traitorous liar serving foreign interests. However, the claims made by Rodchenkov have been determined as accurate by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

A spokesperson for the Basmanny District Court in Moscow remarked an order to confiscate property in Russia owned by Rodchenkov, who now lives in the United States, was issued on August 12, a few days after the ban on Russian Paralympians was first announced and had since been executed on a plot of land.

Russia’s Prime Minister, Dmitry Medvedev, responded to the ban, by saying the story of Russian doping investigations is a thick and disgusting cocktail made up of 20 percent doping and 80 percent politics. Medvedev added these politics are directed against Russian sport, Russian athletes and Russia as a state.

The ban on Russian Paralympians was described by Russian President Vladimir Putin as outside of law, outside of morals and outside of humanity. Putin added it is just cynical to take it out on people for whom sport has become the meaning of life, those who by their example give millions of people with limited capabilities hope and faith in their power. Putin, speaking at a ceremony in the Kremlin to honor Russia’s gold medal winners at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, commented that the humanist foundation of sport and Olympism was brazenly violated by politics.

Alexei Martynov, a columnist in the daily Izvestiya, remarked discrimination against Russian athletes recalled Nazi Germany’s policies toward Slavs, Gypsies, Jews, the mentally handicapped, and the physically disabled. Komsomolskaya Pravda, a Russian newspaper, went on to describe the actions taken against athletes of Russia as the second phase of the Cold War that has been declared on Russia.

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Friday 15, Jul 2016

  Indian-Born Australian Wrestler To Miss Rio Olympics

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Indian-born Australian wrestler Vinod Kumar has been hit with a doping ban of four years and will miss next month’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Wrestling Australia has been asked by the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) to withdraw Kumar from the Olympic team after the wrestler, who competes in the Greco-Roman 66 kilograms division, tested positive for an unnamed substance at the African/Oceania Olympic Qualifier in Algiers in Algeria in April. It was confirmed by the AOC that both his A and B samples returned positive results after he had secured a Rio 2016 spot at the event in the Algerian capital.

Kumar protested his innocence and his coach Kostya Ermakovich remarked he will appeal against the suspension. Kumar’s coach insisted his wrestler has “done nothing wrong” and is “devastated” as Kumar now looks likely to be axed from the Australian team for Rio 2016. Ermakovich claimed the positive test could have occurred as the wrestler does not speak good English and may have misread the labels on a protein shake he was taking. The coach claimed Vinod’s English is really poor and maybe he couldn’t read the labels properly or the protein shakes didn’t have a full description of their ingredients.

In a statement, the AOC said the Australian Olympic Committee has asked Wrestling Australia to withdraw the nomination of athlete Vinod Kumar for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games following an anti-doping violation. The statement further reads that the international federation, United World Wrestling (UWW), has advised they will reallocate his position in the 66kg division to the next best ranked National Olympic Committee.

The 31-year-old wrestler has 30 days to contest the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Kumar, one of two Australians to have qualified for the Greco-Roman discipline and a six-time national champion, had been training in Australia since he arrived as a student in 2010.  In 2010, Kumar immigrated to Australia and first competed for his adopted country in March. Vinod started wrestling at age of eight and hails from a small village of Khanda in Haryana, India. The wrestler participated in state and national competitions for a period of four years and also competed in the popular Indian sport of dirt wrestling. He has so far claimed six national championships and countless medals at the Australia Cup and Canberra Cup tournaments and represented the green and gold for the first time at the Oceania Championships in New Zealand in March, where he bagged the gold medal.

Kumar, who was thrown from a speeding train by the family of a rival in India before landing on his feet in Australia, competed at junior national tournaments across India from a young age. The wrestler worked as a courier and a bouncer at nightclubs to earn money and remarks he owes friends up to A$15,000 ($10,800).

The international wrestling body, United World Wrestling, has indicated the position of Kumar will not be reallocated to another Australian. The profile of Vinod Kumar has already been taken down from the Australian Olympic Team’s website.

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Sunday 03, Jul 2016

  Russia To Tighten Responsibility For Doping Violations

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Russian President Vladimir Putin has remarked the country will tighten the responsibility for doping abuse by athletes. Putin added law enforcers will be empowered to investigate such cases and also commented that the responsibility must be tightened.

Putin remarked he had discussed the issue with the government and said we have made a decision to support amendments to tighten legislation: to enhance responsibility and to adopt legislation allowing the use of detective and policing methods to let our law enforcers use investigative methods to expose the use and proliferation of doping substances. The Russian President said he also hopes a future State Duma would support the amendments.

Putin said the country is thankful to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) commenting on the situation around accusations of doping abuse by Russian athletes. The Russian head of the state promised to study information provided by WADA on doping among Russian athletes attentively. Putin said we should be thankful to our counterparts from the World Anti-Doping Agency and should treat the information they have provided in a most serious way. The President added Russia has always fought against doping at state level and will continue doing it. Putin also commented we hope the information we will be receiving ourselves or will be getting otherwise will be unbiased and said this is the sphere where conclusions should not be made on the basis of rumors or simply suspicions.

Putin stressed it is inadmissible to rely on the words of people who say it was them to commit violations and spread doping. He added it is them who are violators and who are responsible for this situation. Putin went on to say that the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office and the Investigative Committee is looking into the accusations presently.

Allegations against Russian athletes started to emerge in November when the country’s athletics and anti-doping bodies were accused by WADA of massively breaching anti-doping rules. Last November, the track and field team of Russia was suspended after doping allegations. The decision of the world governing body of athletics to suspend Russia’s track and field team was upheld by the International Olympic Committee that meant Russia track team was banned from this summer’s Olympic Games in Rio.

The IAAF later took a soft stance on clean Russian athletes and said they can submit individual applications to compete in tournaments. The IAAF said on its official website a rule amendment was also passed which means that if there are any individual athletes who can clearly and convincingly show that they are not tainted by the Russian system because they have been outside the country and subject to other effective anti-doping systems, then they should be able to apply for permission to compete in international competitions, not for Russia but as a neutral athlete.

Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko wrote an open letter to the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) head Sebastian Coe in which he remarked the athletes of Russia must not be singled out as the only ones to be punished for a problem that is widely acknowledged to go far beyond our country’s borders. Mutko added Russian sport is healthy and clean, and not like it is shown abroad.

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Sunday 19, Jun 2016

  Russian Athletes Banned From Rio 2016 Olympics

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The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has upheld the ban imposed by it on Russia’s track and field team over allegations of widespread and state-sponsored doping. This means Russia, one of the powerhouses of track and field, will be excluded from this summer’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

IAAF head Sebastian Coe said at a press conference in Vienna the IAAF council was unanimous that RUSAF (Russian Athletic Federation) had not met the reinstatement conditions although good progress has been made. Coe added the Russian athletes could not credibly return to international competition without undermining the confidence of their competitors and the public and therefore the Russian Athletic Federation has not been reinstated to membership of the IAAF at this stage.

The IAAF however said Russian athletes who have not been found guilty of doping could appear in the Olympics but not under the Russian flag. International anti-doping expert Rune Andersen said at the IAAF press conference said if there are individual athletes who can clearly and convincingly show they are not tainted by the Russian system because they have been outside the country or subject to other strong, anti-doping systems, including effective drug testing, then there should be a process through which they can apply to compete in international competition, not for Russia, but as a neutral athlete. Andersen went on to remark that the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) was at least 18-24 months away from returning to full operational compliance with the World Anti-Doping Code.

Expressing its disappointment, the Sports Ministry of Russia urged the International Olympic Committee to assess the consequences of banning the national team of Russia from the 2016 Olympic Games. In a statement, the ministry said it is calling upon all members of the International Olympic Committee to once again assess the consequences the precedent (ban of the national team from the Olympic Games) will have both for Russian athletes and all of Russian people as well as for other members of the Olympic movement.

RUSAF president Dmitry Shlyakhtin remarked the athletes with clean records who have never used banned drugs will be making their own decisions now and added they still have chances to go to the Olympics if they take their cases to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko wrote in his letter to Coe that clean athletes who have dedicated years of their lives to training and who never sought to gain unfair advantage through doping should not be punished for the past actions of other individuals. Mutko added Russia’s athletes must not be singled out as the only ones to be punished for a problem that is widely acknowledged to go far beyond our country’s borders.

In another development, IAAF President Coe has been accused of misleading the British Parliament that he was not aware of doping problems in Russia. In his defense, he did receive an email about detailed doping but simply forwarded it to the IAAF ethics commission.

A statement issued by Coe’s spokeswoman said the IAAF Ethics Commission was deliberately established as a quasi-judicial body to investigate all allegations of corruption and breaches of the IAAF Rules and it is independent of the IAAF.

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Saturday 14, May 2016

  Ex-Russian Official Opens Up About Massive Doping

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The former head of Russian’s anti-doping laboratory told The New York Times Russian officials took clean urine from athletes, months before the 2014 Sochi Olympics and transported it in baby bottles and soda containers as part of a strategy to evade doping tests.

Grigory Rodchenkov, working with a filmmaker on a documentary, provided details of the elaborate scheme that he said involved dozens of Russian athletes and officials. Rodchenkov remarked tainted samples were replaced for at least three gold medalists.

The NY Times report was described by the International Olympic Committee as “very worrying.” The IOC said Olympic officials would work with the World Anti-Doping Agency to investigate these claims.

Few months back, Vitaly Stepanov, who had a low-level job of collecting urine and blood samples for Russia’s anti-doping agency, disclosed Rodchenkov told him that at least four Russians won gold medals at the Sochi Olympics while on anabolic steroids and the Russian anti-doping lab covered it up. Stepanov also disclosed that agents the FSB (the Russian equivalent of FBI), worked as doping control officers during the Sochi games and also commented that the FSB tried to control every single step of the anti-doping process in Sochi. The details offered by Rodchenkov added more evidence to claims made by Stepanov that the government of Russia was deeply involved to cheat and cover up the doping. It was also claimed by Rodchenkov that he offered a cocktail of anabolic steroids mixed with liquor to some athletes, using Scotch whisky for men and vermouth for women.

The IOC said in a statement these allegations are very detailed and very worrying and we ask the World Anti-Doping Agency to investigate immediately. Prior to the publication of the NY Times story, the IOC’s medical director Dr. Richard Budgett said the IOC was considering retesting samples from the Sochi Olympics. However, this may not prove useful as Rodchenkov claims tainted urine was flushed down the toilet after it was replaced.

Commenting on the claims, outgoing WADA director general David Howman said it shows the system can be broken rather simply. Howman added it looks on the surface there might have been quite a big ‘get away’ and added the real question is the way this is a systematic program.

Beckie Scott, chair of the athletes’ commission, made an emotional plea to the foundation board in which he urged WADA to use its influence to keep Russian drug cheats out of the Rio Games. Scott, who won bronze at the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Games but was upgraded to gold, remarked we acknowledge that WADA does not have jurisdiction over the Olympic Games and added but WADA does have, however, influence and clean athletes of the world propose that you use that influence with respect to Rio and Game beyond.

Reacting to the allegations, Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko defended athletes of the country. Mutko said they are outstanding athletes and the accusations are absurd. The sports minister added the accusations against them are absolutely groundless and added we will study this article and will decide how to react.

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Thursday 12, May 2016

  Russian Authorities Frustrate Doping Testers Before Olympics

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UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) officials are facing huge challenges in their attempts to test athletes of Russia, which has resulted in a significant reduction in the number of tests that will be carried out before the Olympics.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) asked UKAD to take over drug testing earlier this year. This was after allegations of state-supported doping within Russian athletics emerged. The world governing body of athletics suspended Russia and athletes of the country were ejected from international events. Moscow’s laboratory lost its accreditation to carry out tests and the Russian anti-doping agency was disbanded.

In January, UK Anti-Doping officials started testing Russian athletes but now it has emerged that Russian officials have been asking for 30 days’ notice of tests and payments for doping control officers are being disputed by Russian authorities. In addition to this, significant delays are made at the end of Russian customs that are preventing blood samples’ transportation to laboratories outside the country within the 48-hour window required for accurate testing. Due to this, the number of tests carried out by the UKAD-run team is falling well below the almost 1,000 tests per-month that were conducted by the Russian anti-doping agency.

These challenges will be brought into the notice of WADA board members when they will meet this week in Montreal. These revelations could further harm the chances of Russia of being readmitted to track and field in time for the Rio Olympics. Furthermore, these claims could possibly have a big impact on public confidence in Russian athletes across other sports who will compete in Brazil.

Reacting to these claims, the Russian sports minister Vitaly Mutko insisted Russian athletes should be allowed to travel to the Olympics and are cooperating with the UKAD operation. Mutko remarked there is no basis for our team not to be participating in the Olympic Games and added athletics is hugely popular in Russia, most of our athletes are honest. The Russian sports minister added we have been working with UKAD for four months and it took 67 tests the first month, the next month 150, now it is 200. Mutko added the amount of positive tests by the end of the year will be no larger than when we did it ourselves.

British athlete Paula Radcliffe, one of the most vocal advocates of clean sports, said it was not fair that Russian athletes in other sports had not been punished, sanctioned, or banned from competing in Rio. The world record holder for the women’s marathon remarked it was obvious from the beginning this wasn’t just an athletics problem. Reacting to troubles faced by UKAD anti-doping staff at the hands of Russian officials, Radcliffe said they know what they have to do if they want to get back in. The British athlete also commented they first of all have to accept that there is a problem, and then actively do something about it.

UK Anti-Doping declined to comment and the World Anti-Doping Agency remarked it would respond to these claims once the issues have been discussed by its board.

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