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Absence from athletics championships to let Russia better prepare for Olympics — minister

November 20, 2015, 11:58 UTC+3 MOSCOW

"Even if we skip it there will be no tragedy," the Russian sports minister Vitaly Mutko says

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© AP Photo/Lee Jin-man

MOSCOW, November 20. /TASS/. Absence from the winter track-and-field athletics championships in the United States will let Russian athletes get better prepared for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko has told TASS.

On Thursday, the International Association of Athletics Federations declared that its commission probing into the activity of the All-Russia Athletics Federation (ARAF) will present its first report no earlier than March 27, 2016. The world championships are due in Portland on March 17-20.

"Yes, we will most probably be absent from the event. Don’t you see the date — March 27? What do we need these championships for? Ok, we don’t go there. It’s not on the schedule of many athletes. We’ll get better prepared for the Olympics. Possibly, some had it on the agenda, but most of the leading athletes did not. Even if we skip it there will be no tragedy," Mutko said.

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