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Russian official rejects allegations of state support for doping abuse in sports

January 15, 17:30 UTC+3
"It puzzles when Russian President Vladimir Putin is mentioned, without any proofs, in the context of the doping and corruption scandals in the IAAF," Alexander Zhukov said commenting a WADA report
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Alexander Zhukov, the president of the Russian Olympic Committee

Alexander Zhukov, the president of the Russian Olympic Committee

© Alexander Shalgin/Russian State Duma Press Service/TASS

MOSCOW, January 15. /TASS/. Allegations that the abuse of performance enhancing drugs in Russian sports enjoys support at the state level are groundless, Alexander Zhukov, the president of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC), said on Friday.

"It puzzles when Russian President Vladimir Putin is mentioned, without any proofs, in the context of the doping and corruption scandals in the IAAF," Zhukov said commenting on the report from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

"At the same time the authors of the document admit that they had no reliable information and refer to some third parties," he said. "Such approach can only cast doubt on the unbiased work of the Commission and on presented topics in the document."

"The same goes for ungrounded allegations that doping abuse in Russia enjoys state support," the ROC chief said.

"I would reiterate in this regard that we hold a principal stance on the complete eradication of doping in sports," Zhukov said. "First of all, it is done at the level of the Russian legaislation with serious budget spending, which our government allocated for the solution of the issues in this sphere."

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) published on Thursday a second part of its report of its ongoing investigation into alleged mass doping abuse and corruption in the Russian athletics.

The WADA Independent Commission was set up and began its work early last year, following a series of German documentaries on the alleged mass use of performance enhancing drugs among Russia’s field and track athletes.

The Independent Commission of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) published on November 9 the first part of the results of its probe into the activities of the 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.

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.

On August 1 last 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, 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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