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Russia’s VTB urges WADA to publicly retract its allegations slandering bank’s reputation

February 17, 2016, 18:27 UTC+3

The bank's CEO announced on January 22 that VTB had been in preparations of lawsuits against WADA, which earlier recommended a probe into bank’s membership in the IAAF’s sponsorship pool

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© Maxim Shemetov/ITAR-TASS

MOSCOW, February 17. /TASS/. Russia’s leading state-controlled lender VTB Bank has demanded that the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) issues a public statement retracting information in its commission’s January report, which slanders a public image of the bank, VTB’s press service told TASS on Wednesday.

Andrey Kostin, the head of the bank, announced on January 22 that VTB Bank had been in preparations of lawsuits against WADA, which earlier recommended a probe into bank’s membership in the IAAF’s (International Association of Athletics Federations) sponsorship pool.

"Bank VTB confirms that it sent letters to WADA and Independent Commission’s three members, who signed WADA’s report, demanding to publicly retract report’s information, which tarnishes the business reputation of VTB," the bank’s press service said in its statement addressed to TASS.

"In case the demand is not met within 21 days from the day of the letters were received, the bank will initiate judicial proceedings against the persons at the issue in a Swiss court," the statement added.

WADA’s Independent Commission published on January 14 its Part 2 report, which says, in particular, that a meeting was held in Moscow in 2012 with the participation of three representatives of the IAAF, including Papa Massata Diack (a son of IAAF’s ex-President Lamine Diack), ex-chief of All-Russia Athletics Federation (ARAF) Valentin Balakhnichev and a Russian television official, which discussed the cost of TV broadcasting rights for the 2013 Athletics Championship estimated at $6 million.

WADA’s report included an allegation concerning the legitimacy of Russian bank VTB sponsorship deal with the IAAF, initially inked in 2007 and extended for two more years in 2013, and the bank’s alleged acquisition of broadcasting rights for the 2013 IAAF World Championship in Moscow.

The Associated Press news agency reported in mid-January that as a result the cost of the broadcasting rights was increased from $6 million to $25 million after agreement between Papa Massata Diack and VTB Bank.

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