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Olympic chief says Russian athletes should compete under country’s flag

November 18, 2015, 18:00 UTC+3 MOSCOW

A commission of the International Association of Athletics Federations will visit Russia in the near future

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© Vladimir Smirnov/ITAR-TASS

MOSCOW, November 18. /TASS/. Russian athletes should take part in international competitions under the country’s flag, Alexander Zhukov, the head of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC), said on Wednesday.

"Russian athletes should compete under the Russian flag. This is our position and we will insist on this," Zhukov said. "We feel serious support of the ROC and ‘clean’ athletes from the IOC (International Olympic Committee)."

Russia needs committee to handle changes at athletics federation

According to the official, Russia needs a special committee to coordinate reforms at the All-Russia Athletics Federation (ARAF).

"We need a committee to coordinate changes at the ARAF. It should cooperate with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and everyone who is fighting doping," Zhukov said.

"We have asked the IAAF to give relevant powers to the committee," Zhukov said.

IAAF commission to visit Russia soon

Zhukov said a commission of the IAAF will visit Russia in the near future.

"We hope that we will be able to fulfill WADA recommendations and cooperation in full with the IAAF commission that will soon arrive in Russia," Zhukov said. "If ‘clean’ Russian athletes will be able to take part in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, we will know that the task is completed."

He also said the Russian Olympic Committee was opposed to any boycotts and political interference with sports.

An Independent Commission of the WADA last week published results of its probe into activities of the ARAF, the Moscow anti-doping laboratory, the Russian Anti-Doping Agency and the Russian Sports Ministry.

The commission made accusations against some athletics officials and athletes, urging the IAAF to suspend the ARAF.

On Friday, the IAAF council voted 22-1 to suspend the Russian federation, which could prevent Russian track and field athletes taking part in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics next year.


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