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‘Russia will be able to cope with doping problems’

Kazan, Feb 2: Russia will be able to cope with doping problems, Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov has said at the ministry’s board meeting.

“I can’t but say about the situation in anti-doping policy. The work, which Russia has carried out on anti-doping since 2008, has been enormous. Now the violation of anti-doping rules is both an administrative and crimil offence. But we have been confronted with a problem and I’m confident that we’ll resolve this situation,” Kolobkov said on Wednesday.

He also said there were no grounds to speak about any state-sponsored doping system in Russia.

“I’m confident that all these accusations that are now made about the alleged state-sponsored doping system have no grounds,” Kolobkov added.

“But this is yet another moment for all of us to think about whether we are doing everything correctly, developing sports.”

World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Independent Commission, chaired by Cadian law professor Richard McLaren, released the first part of the now-infamous report, on July 18 last year, the results of a probe into the accusations of doping and manipulation of tests by Russian athletes and officials at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games.

The WADA report stated in particular that the investigation registered a total of 643 cases of Disappearing Positive Test Results in Russia between 2012 and 2015 involving athletes from 30 sports.

As a result, WADA suggested that the Intertiol Olympic Committee (IOC), the Intertiol Paralympic Committee (IPC) and all intertiol sports federations to ban Russian athletes from all intertiol sports competitions, including 2016 Rio Olympics.

The WADA Independent Commission launched its investigation following media reports early last year which were based on a testimony from former head of Moscow anti-doping laboratory Grigory Rodchenkov.

Rodchenkov said Russian athletes largely used performance enhancing drugs at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi with the approval from the tiol sports authorities.

On the whole, the ex-doping official claimed the Russian sports authorities allegedly prepared a special doping program for tiol athletes in order to win most of the medals at home Winter Olympics in Sochi in 2014.

Following Rodchenkov’s allegations and McLaren’s report, the IOC ordered realysis of doping samples collected at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. The Russian Investigative Committee launched its own probe into statements made by Rodchenkov.

According to Part Two of WASA’s McLaren report, delivered in London in early December, more than 1,000 Russian athletes competing in summer, winter and Paralympic sports could have been involved in an alleged manipulation scheme to conceal positive doping tests.

It also claimed doping samples of 12 Russian medallists of 2014 Sochi Winter Games had been tampered with. In addition, doping tests of two more Russian athletes, who won four gold medals at Sochi, had been falsified as well. IANS

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Ankur Kalita