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Russia ready for having its whole team tested for doping before Olympics — minister

June 23, 14:17 UTC+3
The Russian Weightlifting Federation will contest its Olympic ban at the Lausanne-based Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS)
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© EPA/HANNIBAL HANSCHKE

MOSCOW, June 23. /TASS/. Russia is prepared for testing all of its potential candidates for the national team that will go to the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko told the media on Thursday.

"Russia is ready for testing its whole team once again ahead of the Olympics. It is even prepared to pay for this," Mutko said.

According to the minister, the Russian Weightlifting Federation will contest at the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) the decision of the International Weightlifting Federation to strip it of two quotas for the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil.

"The federation will file a lawsuit today or tomorrow and will defend its rights at court. Making such decisions ahead of the Olympics is disrespect for athletes and national teams, "Mutko said.

The Executive Board of the International Weightlifting Federation has decided to withdraw two Rio 2016 quotas from Russia after disclosing several positive doping tests during the qualification period.

Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, North Korea and Moldova also lost two quotas each, while Belarus, Romania and Uzbekistan were stripped of one quota each.

The Russian weightlifting team earlier had the maximum quota of ten athletes (six men and four women).

Last week the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) decided to keep in force the suspension of Russia’s membership in the global athletics body. The suspension implied that Russian field and track athletes were ineligible to take part in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil to be held between August 5 and 21.

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