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Doping control officers likely to be at 2016 Russian Race Walk Championship in Sochi

February 24, 15:13 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The Russian championship, to be held on the Formula One Sochi GP race circuit, will determine the best national athletes in 20 km women and men’ race walk as well as in 35 km men’s race walk
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© EPA/CHRISTIAN BRUN

MOSCOW, February 24. /TASS/. Doping control officers are most likely to attend the 2016 Russian Race Walk Winter Championship, scheduled to be held in the country’s Black Sea resort city of Sochi on February 27, Mikhail Butov, the secretary general of the All-Russia Athletics Federation (ARAF), told TASS on Wednesday.

The Russian championship, to be held on the Formula One Sochi GP race circuit, will determine the best national athletes in 20 km women and men’ race walk as well as in 35 km men’s race walk.

"I cannot say for certain at the moment that participants of the Russian Race Walk Winter Championship will be subjected to doping tests," Butov said in an interview with TASS. "Dpoing officers may either arrive or may not."

"However, I believe they will be present in Sochi," he said. "In recent times, all visits of doping services in Russia are of a sudden nature."

Control over doping abuse in Russian sports has been exercised by the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) in cooperation with the British anti-doping agency (UKAD) since early February.

The agreement on cooperation between the UKAD and the Russian agency, which is currently limited in its rights following a decision of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), was signed on February 1. The agreement will be in force until RUSADA is restored in its rights returning its former status.

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 finding of the agency’s Independent Commission that RUSADA did not comply with the Code of the international anti-doping organization.

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.

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