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Russian Olympic Committee wants all-embracing probe of WADA’s doping accusations

July 19, 2016, 13:15 UTC+3

The Russian Olympic Committee is ready to provide all possible assistance in the investigation

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© AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko

MOSCOW, July 19. /TASS/. The accusations brought against Russian athletes and sports officials by the Independent Commission of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) require an all-embracing probe with the participation of all the sides involved, Russia’s Olympic Committee (ROC) said on Tuesday.

The WADA Independent Commission chaired by Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren released a report on Monday on the results of a probe into the accusations of doping and manipulation of tests by Russian athletes and officials at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games.

The report claimed that the McLaren Commission found evidence that Russia’s Sports Ministry and the Center for the Training of Russian National Teams and the Federal Security Service supported the doping program in Russian sports.

"The accusations brought in the report by Richard McLaren against Russian sports are so serious that they require a comprehensive investigation with the participation of all the parties involved," the ROC said in a statement.

"The Russian Olympic Committee, which is committed to the struggle against doping from the position of zero tolerance, is ready to provide all possible assistance in this matter and interact, if necessary, with any international organizations," the statement said.

"At the same time, we completely disagree with the opinion of Mr. McLaren who believes that the possible banning of hundreds of ‘clean’ Russian athletes from participation in the Olympic Games is a valid ‘unpleasant consequence’ of the charges laid out in the report," the statement said.

The current accusations have been built on the statements made by Grigory Rodchenkov, the former head of the Moscow Anti-Doping Laboratory, the Russian Olympic Committee said.

"This is based only on the evidence of the person who is at the center of the criminal scheme created by him, which deals a blow not only to the career and the fate of a large number of clean athletes but also to the integrity of the entire international Olympic movement," the ROC said in a statement.

Russia’s Olympic Committee also said it fully supported the use of the toughest measures against those involved in doping.

"Russia fought and will continue fighting at the state level against doping, constantly tightening responsibility for unlawful acts committed in this sphere, implementing the principle of the inevitability of punishment. The Russian Olympic Committee fully supports the toughest measures against those who use banned substances or induce to their use," the ROC said in a statement.

"At the same time, while building its activity in full compliance with the Olympic Charter, the ROC will always defend the rights of ‘clean' athletes. Those who are seeking throughout their career to realize their Olympic dream through their laborious training, talent and willpower must not depend on unsubstantiated and unfounded accusations or criminal acts of certain persons. This is our principled position," the Russian Olympic Committee said in a statement.

The New York Times published an interview in mid-May with ex-head of the Moscow Anti-Doping Laboratory Rodchenkov who claimed that the Russian sports authorities had allegedly prepared a special doping program for national athletes in order to win most of the medals at the home Winter Olympics in Sochi in 2014. The ex-doping official said some Russian Olympic gold medalists in Sochi took banned substances.

Rodchenkov announced his readiness to provide evidence to WADA and the International Olympic Committee and also evidence about the need to re-check the doping samples from the 2014 Winter Olympics kept in Lausanne.

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