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Attempts to use collective punishment in sports unacceptable — Russian Foreign Ministry

November 12, 2015, 18:40 UTC+3
The accusations of Russian athletes in doping abuse are based on information obtained from sources that seem rather dubious, Russian Foreign Ministry's spokeswoman says
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Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova

© Artiom Korotaev/TASS

MOSCOW, November 12. /TASS/. The position of the Independent Commission of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) regarding Russian athletes is biased and politicized, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Thursday.

"As regards the position of the special commission on doping regarding Russian athletes, it looks rather biased and politicized. No one is asking for or listening to argumentation of the Russian side," Zakharova said.

"The accusations are based on information obtained from sources that seem rather dubious," she said.

"We have so far not had an opportunity to get familiarized with the multipage report by WADA, mentioned in different media," the diplomat said.

"We are noting an attempt to enforce in the sphere of sports the principle of collective punishment. In our view, this is absolutely unacceptable," Zakharova said. "The problem really has a global character. But somehow these are Russian athletes who become the object of particularly close attention."

WADA investigation on Russian athletes' doping abuse accusations

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Independent Commission delivered on Monday a report on its investigation into doping abuse allegations involving Russian athletes and recommended that the International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF) suspend all athletes of the All-Russia Athletics Federation (ARAF) from participation in international competitions.

It also recommended on Monday to ban for life five Russian athletes and five coaches over their involvement in doping abuse violations as well as to strip the Moscow anti-doping laboratory of its license.

Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday commenting on the WADA Independent Commission’s report that allegations against Russian sportsmen over the massive use of doping performance enhancing drugs were groundless and not backed up by evidence so far.

The Russian Sports Ministry, in turn, advised WADA to focus on real facts during the investigation against Russian athletes.

Richard Pound, the head of the WADA Independent Commission told a news conference on Monday that the delivered report was only the first part and the final text of the investigation’s findings would be published by the end of the year.

The Independent Commission of WADA was set up and began its work earlier following a series of German documentaries on the alleged mass use of performance enhancing drugs among Russia’s track and field athletes.

Doping abuse scandal

In December 2014 German TV Channel ARD aired a series of documentaries on alleged doping abuse in Russian sports. The ARD’s two-part documentary, entitled Geheimsache Doping (Secret Doping Case), claimed that Russian athletes systematically took banned substances on instructions from their coaches.

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced in June his deep disappointment with the rise of positive doping cases registered among Russian athletes and called to enhance the fight against the abuse of performance enhancing drugs.

On August 1 this year ARD released another documentary "Doping - Top Secret: The Shadowy World of Athletics." The film claimed that ARD and British newspaper The Sunday Times had obtained a leaked database belonging to the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), which contained more than 12,000 blood tests from around 5,000 athletes in the years 2001 to 2012.

ARD further alleged that a third of medals (146, including 55 golds) in endurance events at the Olympics and World Championships between 2001 and 2012 were won by athletes who have recorded suspicious tests but none of these athletes have been stripped of their medals.

The Sunday Times also alleged that Russian athletes suspected of doping abuse had won 80% of medals for their country at Olympic Games and World Championships between 2001 and 2012.

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