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Russian athletics needs transparency in terms of anti-doping efforts — sports minister

February 05, 14:45 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The fight against doping should be pragmatic and carried out at arm’s length, Vitaly Mutko says
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Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko

Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko

© Mikhail Metsel/TASS

MOSCOW, February 5. /TASS/. The Russian athletics should prove its transparency in terms of anti-doping efforts, while the international approach to regulations on performance enhancing drugs should be pragmatic and equal, Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said on Friday.

"We must prove our transparency," Mutko told journalists. "The fight against doping should be pragmatic and carried out at arm’s length. If a person makes a violation, then a punishment follows, if he does not, then there is no punishment."

"I hope that the [sports] federations and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will take control of sports," Mutko said.

Russian athletics doping scandal

The All-Russia Athletics Federation (ARAF) suffered a major blow last year following a series of exposed doping scandals involving titled Russian field and track athletes.

WADA’s Independent Commission 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 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.

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

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.

Last August, 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.

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