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Mutko: Seppelt's third film is attempt to influence organizations taking major decisions

March 05, 14:04 UTC+3
Last August, ARD and Seppelt came up releasing another documentary "Doping - Top Secret: The Shadowy World of Athletics
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© Sergey Fadeichev/TASS

MOSCOW, March 5. /TASS/. A new film on use of doping by Russian athletes, which Germany’s ARD will broadcast on Sunday, is an attempt to influence the organizations, which take major decisions, Russia’s Minister of Sports Vitaly Mutko told TASS on Saturday.

"Sunday ARD/WDR German TV: 3rd documentary with new strong evidence in athletics: ‘Doping Top secret: Russia's Red Herrings’," Seppelt wrote in his Twitter account adding the documentary would be broadcast at 10:05 p.m. local German time (21:05 GMT).

"I am aware the third part of the film will be broadcasted," the minister said. "Though strange, it happens at the time Russia despite the many artificial and politicized accusations decided to once again, jointly with all the authorized international sports authorities, to adjust its system to remove any accusations."

"We have agreed all the Russian sports will be processed now by the British anti-doping laboratory, as WADA has suggested," he said. "The international test pool will be bigger. We shall not be handling the process control."

"Thus, I am saying, weird those films continue," the official said. "The though occurs that is an attempt to influence the organizations, which are to take major decisions."

International organizations should follow positions regardless of ARD films

MOSCOW, March 5. /TASS/. It is high time international sports organizations present their positions regardless of films or press publications about use of doping in Russia, the country’s Minister of Sports Vitaly Mutko told TASS on Saturday.

On Friday, Hajo Seppelt, a German journalist known for reports on high-profile doping scandals in Russian athletics twitted the German television channel ARD would come up on Sunday with a new documentary on the alleged abuse of performance enhancing drugs among Russia’s field and track athletes.

"It is a big public and political pressure, and it baffles me," the minister said. "Of major importance is the position of international organizations, responsible for certain kinds of sports. It is high time they take positions. And the positions should not be changed depending on an article or a film. Otherwise, we shall never manage problems."

"Today, their target is Russia, and tomorrow it may be any other country," he said.

In December 2014, ARD aired Seppelt’s first documentary on alleged doping abuse in Russian sports. The documentary, entitled Geheimsache Doping (Secret Doping Case), claimed that Russian athletes systematically took banned substances on instructions from their coaches.

Last August, ARD and Seppelt came up releasing 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 (IAAF), 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 series of German documentaries prompted a reaction from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), which ruled early last year to set up an independent body to investigate the issue.

WADA’s Independent Commission handled the investigation and subsequently published last November results of its probe into the activities of the ARAF (the All-Russia Athletics Federation), the Moscow anti-doping laboratory, the RUSADA (Russian Anti-Doping Agency) 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 IAAF said at its Council meeting in November that a report prepared by the 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.

International and Russian sports experts had repeatedly voiced their assumptions that it was highly possible for Russian national athletics teams to be suspended from the Summer Olympic Games in Brazil this year.


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