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Russian Anti-Doping Agency denies German allegations on doping abuse by Russian athletes

August 03, 2015, 18:14 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The World Anti-Doping Agency will probe fresh allegations of widespread doping in international athletics brought in the television documentary released by German broadcaster ARD on August 1
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© AP Photo/Felipe Dana

MOSCOW, August 3. /TASS/. The Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) denied on Monday information provided by German television channel ARD in a documentary, which alleged that Russian athletes were abusing performance enhancing drugs over the past decade.

"We are officially stating that the information voiced in regard to RUSADA is either does not correspond to reality or speaks for the incompetence of the documentary’s authors," the agency said in its statement.

"Within the frames of an investigation, launched by RUSADA in December 2014, new information regarding Russian athletes will be thoroughly studied and the results of this investigation will be reported with the independent commission of the World Anti-Doping Agency," the statement said. "The final commentaries will be made after the independent commission of WADA completes its work."

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) said on Sunday it would request its independent commission to study fresh allegations regarding widespread doping in international athletics brought in the television documentary released by German broadcaster ARD on August 1.

"The documentary alleges that ARD and The Sunday Times obtained a leaked database, belonging to the International Association of Athletics Federations, which contained more than 12,000 blood tests from around 5,000 athletes in the years 2001 to 2012," WADA said in a statement.

According to The Sunday Times, 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. The newspaper further said that none of these athletes have been stripped of their medals.

The newspaper also claimed that Russian athletes suspected of doping had won 80% of medals for their country in endurance competitions at Olympic Games and World Championships between 2001 and 2012.

Commenting on the new news, Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said on Sunday that the issue of emerged materials on the alleged doping abuse by Russian athletes was an element of struggle for power at the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

"Apparently, some people want to ruin athletics by releasing such documentaries. But in any case, you can’t use the documentary to bring accusations," Mutko said. "New elections of the [IAAF] president are coming in August and customary struggle for power is under way,"

The elections of the IAAF president will be held in mid-August in Beijing ahead of the World Athletic Championship.

The candidates for this post are former renowned Soviet and Ukrainian pole vaulter Sergei Bubka and Sebastian Coe from the UK. The IAAF is currently run by Lamine Diacke from Senegal who has earlier said he does not intend to participate in the new elections.

Previous doping scandals with Russian athletes

Russia came into the focus of a doping scandal last December, when German television 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.

The All-Russia Athletics Federation (ARAF) was further hit by a series of high-profile doping scandals starting this year. On January 30, the Russian Anti-Doping Agency RUSADA suspended country’s titled athletes Tatiana Chernova and Yulia Zaripova over doping abuse.

Runner Zaripova, a 2011 world athletics champion and 2012 Olympic gold medalist, was disqualified for two years and six months from July 25, 2013. Chernova, a 2008 and 2012 Olympic bronze medalist and 2011 world champion, was disqualified for two years from July 22, 2013.

RUSADA also announced in January that Olympic Champions in race walk Valery Borchin, Sergey Kirdyapkin and Olga Kaniskina as well as Russia’s 2011 World Champion Sergey Bakulin and 2011 World Championship silver medalist Vladimir Kanaikin were suspended after they were found guilty of violating anti-doping regulations.

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