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Russian lawmaker calls German doping documentary part of information war against Russia

August 11, 2015, 17:50 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Russia’s Anti-Doping Agency said in a statement on Tuesday the ARD television channel had ignored all of its attempts to provide it with verifiable information on doping
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© AP Photo/Keystone/Salvatore Di Nolfi

MOSCOW, August 11. /TASS/. The German television channel ARD, which aired a documentary on doping in athletics, ignored information supplied by Russia’s Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) because it is not interested in reality, a Russian lawmaker said on Tuesday.

"The fact that the German TV Channel ARD ignored RUSADA’s information on banned substances confirms one thing: all means can be used in the information war unleashed against Russia while no one seems to be interested in reality," member of the State Duma Committee for Physical Culture, Sports and Youth Affairs and President of the International Sambo Federation Vasily Shestakov told journalists.

RUSADA said in a statement on Tuesday the ARD television channel had ignored all of its attempts to provide it with verifiable information on doping.

RUSADA also said that information on it presented in the documentary as "indisputable facts" had nothing to do with reality and the film showed no understanding of the processes of organizing the struggle against doping in sports.

An independent commission of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) led by former WADA President Richard Pound is already investigating the allegations made in a documentary entitled Geheimsache Doping (Secret Doping Case) and aired by the TV Channel ARD last December.

The documentary claimed that Russian athletes systematically took banned substances on instructions from their coaches.

The main characters in the documentary were athlete Yulia Stepanova and her husband Vitaly Stepanov who used to work for the Russian Anti-Doping Agency. After the documentary was aired by the German TV channel, WADA set up a commission to investigate the allegations.

Fresh doping scandal with Russian athletes

The World Anti-Doping Agency announced on Friday that its independent commission would immediately launch a new investigation into new doping accusations voiced in a documentary film aired by Germany’s broadcaster ARD in early August.

"WADA is committed to protecting the confidentiality of athletes; and, therefore, has asked its Independent Commission to commence its investigation with urgency," WADA quoted its President Sir Craig Reedie as saying in a statement.

The German television channel ARD aired a documentary on August 1, "Doping - Top Secret: The Shadowy World of Athletics," which alleged that ARD and 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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