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Russian lawmaker links WADA commission findings to general hysteria around Russia

November 09, 2015, 21:48 UTC+3 MOSCOW

WADA’s commission recommended the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) to suspend Russian athletes from all competitions

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© AP Photo/Mark Baker, file

MOSCOW, November 9. /TASS/. Valery Shestakov from the State Duma committee for physical culture, sports and youth said on Monday that he linked recommendations of the World Anti-Doping Agency to suspend Russian athletes from all competitions to a general hysteria around Russia.

"First of all, it is clear that the situation with the use of doping, as well as different violations, is characteristic not only for Russia - it is also spread in other countries. That is why I relate this sharp attack against Russia with a general whipping up of hysteria around our country on the whole and in sports in particular," the parliamentarian told reporters.

He said Russia would soon host the FIFA World Cup, and prior to that it has organized a host of sports competitions at the highest level. "Of course, this generates certain heartburn of our opponents", said Shestakov, President of the International Sambo Federation.

"As a result, they have started making tougher demands on Russian athletes, but also - I can quite admit this - went to the length of juggling with facts. They failed to frustrate the rightly entrusted to Russia World Cup, so they decided to get at it from the other side," he continued.

Of course, in this situation "all Russian athletes must be very cautious, and, as it is said, blow on cold water, to rule out any suspicions," Shestakov said. "Of course, one of the aims pursued by the authors of this dubious sensation preceded by already traditional ‘leaks’ to media, was to disrupt preparations and demoralize Russian athletes before the 2016 Olympic Games, as well as discredit Russia as a sports power on the whole," he added.

The politician expressed confidence that the Russian sports officials would "find legal arguments and use all possibilities to prove their rightness."

WADA’s commission recommended the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) to suspend Russian athletes from all competitions. It also recommended 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 and sack its director Grigory Rodchenkov.

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 urged 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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