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Russia ready to amend anti-doping laws to regain global trust — Deputy PM

September 09, 2016, 16:47 UTC+3 MOSCOW

A recently established public anti-doping commission with the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) has already held its first session

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MOSCOW, September 9. /TASS/. Russia is ready for amending its state laws in order to return the trust of the global community in the country’s anti-doping system, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said on Friday.

"Recent developments prove that the whole system of the global sports is imperfect," Dvorkovich said. "We (Russia) have problems as well. We keep working to eradicate them and will be following recommendations of the independent commission, headed by Vitaly Smirnov."

A recently established public anti-doping commission with the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) held its first session in Moscow on Thursday discussing issues on the fight against the abuse of performance enhancing drugs in Russian sports.

A proposal on the introduction of criminal responsibility for the encouragement of the doping abuse at a legal level was on the agenda of the commission led by Smirnov, who is also the president emeritus of ROC.

"I believe that in the nearest future the recommendations will be drafted, we will amend the legislature and adjust the practice of these laws’ application," Dvorkovich said.

A draft law stipulating a criminal responsibility for encouraging athletes to consume performance enhancing drugs was submitted in late March this year with the Russian parliament’s lower house, the State Duma.

The bill was initiated by the United Russia and the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) political parties and initially stipulated a financial fine of up to 500,000 rubles (over $7,350 at that time’s foreign currency exchange rate) or a fine equal to six-month income of a person guilty of inducing an athlete into doping consumption.

A person found guilty of encouraging an athlete into doping rule violations could be also suspended from his or her professional activities up to three years, according to the initially proposed draft law.

On July 25, the ROC Executive Board approved the establishment of the public anti-doping commission. Smirnov, who is also an IOC honorary member, was appointed the head of the new body. Smirnov worked for the IOC for 45 years and he also served as the ROC president between 1992 and 2001.

The decision to form the commission came after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced in mid-July that the ROC could set up an independent public commission on the issues of fight against the abuse of performance enhancing drugs. The presidential proposal followed an array of sanctions against the Russian sports on accusations of doping abuse.

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