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Russian sports minister says he cannot imagine 2016 Olympics without Russian athletes

November 11, 2015, 9:35 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) called to disqualify Russia's national athletics federation, which can bar Russian athletes from competing in the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro
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© AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev

MOSCOW, November 10 /TASS/. Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said on Tuesday that he did not even think of an option that the Russian athletics team would miss the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

"I would not even consider such an option. We have young athletes for whom it will be the first Olympic Games. Certainly, there are athletes who will go to the Olympics for the fifth time. Honest athletes should not suffer. They work hard to make their sport achievements. Their sport career is short. So we should protect them," Mutko told TASS.

On Monday, an independent commission of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) publisherd the results of a probe into the activities of the Russian Athletics Federation; the Moscow anti-doping laboratory; the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) and the Russian Sports Ministry.

WADA’s independent report contains numerous indictments of Russian officials and individual athletes as well as a call to disqualify the national athletics federation. That can bar Russian athletes from competing in the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. The investigation was prompted by reports of Germany’s ARD channel and British newspaper The Sunday Times who claimed that 80% of Russian athletes who won medals at major athletics tournaments from 2001 to 2012 had suspicious doping tests.

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