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EOC President Hickey gives fair comments on USADA letter to IOC — Russian sports minister

July 17, 14:47 UTC+3
"Hickey’s statement is very important, he is absolutely correct in saying USADA has compromized independence and confidentiality of WADA’s Independent Commission," the Vitaly Mutko said
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Vitaly Mutko

Vitaly Mutko

© Vitaly Nevar/TASS

MOSCOW, July 17. /TASS/. President of the European Olympic Committee Patrick Hickey gave fair comments on the letter from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) to head of the International Olympic Committee Thomas Bach - it compromizes independence and confidentiality of the investigation by the World Anti-Doping Agency, Russia’s Minister of Sports Vitaly Mutko told TASS on Sunday.

"Hickey’s statement is very important, he is absolutely correct in saying USADA has compromized independence and confidentiality of WADA’s Independent Commission," the minister said. "They should be working, not issuing passages from reports. What will happen after McLaren’s report is quite clear to me - a news conference and pressure on Russia."

TASS learned on Saturday that USADA (U.S. Anti-Doping Agency) head Travis Tygart is set to demand from International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach that the Russian Olympic and Paralympic teams be suspended from taking part in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro. The decision should be taken not later than July 26, Tygart says in his draft letter, obtained by TASS.

President of the European Olympic Committee Patrick Hickey said from the letter he received from WADA it is clear "both the independence and the confidentiality of the report have been compromised." "My concern is that there seems to have been an attempt to agree an outcome before any evidence has been presented," he said.

On Monday, the WADA Independent Commission led by Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren is expected to release a report on doping manipulations at the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi. In the meantime, Tygart says in his draft letter that McLaren’s probe has confirmed the state has been patronizing the system of doping in Russia.

"It should be clear, by accusing us you are accusing also yourself - RUSADA (Russian Anti-Doping Agency) and the laboratory now are not our facility, it is WADA’s inner structure. And it is us who should be asking - how they control the anti-doping work, how their standards are working," the Russian sports minister said.

"Russia is open, and we are ready for doing everything at the very high level. This is our philosophy," he said. "While personal factors have always existed. This is unavoidable in all spheres of human relations, where sport is most public of all."

The Summer Olympic Games are due in Rio de Janeiro between August 5 and 21. Russia’s final application for the Games is due before July 22.

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