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Sports minister: Russia’s renewed athletics team to perform decently at 2016 Olympics

December 14, 2015, 17:48 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Vitaly Mutko is sure that the Russian national athletics team will emerge stronger and more competitive from the current doping scandal issue
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© AP Photo/Lee Jin-man

MOSCOW, December 14. /TASS/. Russia’s renewed national field and track squad will perform decently at the 2016 Olympics in Brazil despite the recent high-profile doping scandal involving the country’s athletes, Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said on Monday.

"I am sure that we will emerge stronger and more competitive from the current situation," Mutko said. "It is wrong thinking that we were knocked out from the competitive sector. Our new team will arrive and perform decently."

The Independent Commission of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) published on November 9 the results of its probe into the activity of the All-Russia Athletics Federation (ARAF), the Moscow anti-doping laboratory, the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) and the Russian Sports Ministry.

The commission accused certain athletes and sports officials of doping abuse and involvement in other activities related to violations of international regulations on performance enhancing substances.

RUSADA and the Moscow anti-doping laboratory subsequently suspended their activities, while WADA’s Board of Founders approved the decision of the agency’s Independent Committee that RUSADA did not comply with the Code of the international anti-doping organization.

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) said at its Council meeting in November that a report prepared by the All-Russian Athletics Federation (ARAF) on the struggle against doping was unsatisfactory and decided by a majority of votes to suspend Russia’s membership in the international athletics association.

Experts say it is highly probable that the Russian national athletics team will be unable to perform at the Summer Olympic Games in Brazil next year.

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