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Russian sports minister says ‘fully trusts’ coaches, riders of national cycling team

February 08, 11:20 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) announced last Thursday that Russian bicycle racer Yelena Brezhniva was handed a four-year suspension over doping abuse
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© Vasily Smirnov/ITAR-TASS

MOSCOW, February 8. /TASS/. Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko told TASS on Monday that the ministry completely trusts riders and coaches of the country’s national cycling team, despite two doping violation instances reported last week.

"We main focus is on the track racing," Mutko said in an interview with TASS. "It troubles me more seriously when our rider [Yelena] Brezhniva is suspended rather than problems within [Team] Katyusha."

The Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) announced last Thursday that Russian bicycle racer Yelena Brezhniva was handed a four-year suspension over doping abuse. Brezhniva has been part of the country’s national team since 2008 and is the two-time European champion in team sprint, winning the titles in 2013 and 2014.

The Russian sports minister said that the national team was currently in training sessions at a sports base in St. Petersburg and "that is where the coaches and the athletes are at the present moment."

"I fully trust all of them and see no problems whatsoever," Mutko added.

The next day after the reported suspension of Brezhniva the International Union of Cyclists (UCI) announced that a doping probe of Russian cyclist Eduard Vorganov, racing for the Team Katyusha, had tested positive for a banned performance enhancing drug.

The Sample A probe was taken during an off-season period, namely on January 14, 2016, and revealed a positive result for the presence of the banned substance Meldonium in the blood system of Vorganov.

The 33-year-old Russian cyclist has now the right to request the analysis of Sample B and to be present during the procedure.

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