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Doping hype caused by Russia’s dominance in athletic competitions — sports minister

November 10, 2015, 18:49 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Doping is everywhere and Russia is no exception, Vitaly Mutko said in an interview with TASS
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Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko

Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko

© Mikhail Japaridze/TASS

MOSCOW, November 10. /TASS/. Much global attention is focused on Russian sports because of its dominance in the international competitions arena — the spotlight now turned on alleged doping abuse within it, Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko told TASS on Tuesday.

"Doping is everywhere and Russia is no exception," Mutko said in an interview with TASS. "It is very hard to fight with cheating as people are different. Some athletes, seeking perfection and success, resort to dishonest methods. We are fighting against it, just like the rest of the world. Somewhere we succeed in this regard, somewhere we fail."

"But I believe that such exaggerated attention is currently on us, because we [Russia] are always competing for the top possible results," Mutko said. "That is why we are under a closer [international] focus compared with the rest."

"Moreover, the global atmosphere is currently in a criticizing mood towards us," the sports minister said. "And we [Russia] also make blunders once in a while."

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

Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said earlier in the day commenting on the developing situation that allegations against Russian sports 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 on Monday commission’s report was only the first part and the final text of the investigation’s report would be published by the end of the year.

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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