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Each Russian 2014 Olympian ready for doping samples re-tests — minister

July 19, 20:44 UTC+3
The Russian sports minister says Moscow cannot agree with WADA findings until domestic probe is over
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Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko

Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko


MOSCOW, July 19. /TASS/. Each Russian athlete, who competed at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, is ready that his or hers doping samples collected at the Games will be re-analyzed, Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko told TASS on Tuesday.

"We have the specific [Olympic] team," Mutko said in an interview with TASS. "Each athlete has a personal profile and can be subjected to testing and re-testing. We will be not either hiding anyone or covering up for someone."

"We are ready for cooperation with the IOC [International Olympic Committee] in this regard, but the sports movement, including the World Anti-Doping Agency [WADA], should assume personal responsibility as well," Mutko added.

The IOC Executive Board held a telephone conference earlier in the day regarding the recent report of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Independent Commission on the widespread doping abuse and manipulations at the 2014 Sochi Olympics and announced a number of provisional measures as a result.

"The findings of the report show a shocking and unprecedented attack on the integrity of sports and on the Olympic Games. Therefore, the IOC will not hesitate to take the toughest sanctions available against any individual or organization implicated," IOC President Thomas Bach was quoted as saying by the organization’s official website after the conference.

Among the announced measures was the decision was the decision to launch reanalysis of all Russian athletes, who participated in the 2014 Winter Olympic Games.

"The IOC will initiate reanalysis, including forensic analysis, and a full inquiry into all Russian athletes who participated in the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014 and their coaches, officials and support staff," the IOC said in its statement.

Russia cannot agree with WADA findings until domestic probe is over 

Mutko went on to say that Russia cannot agree with the WADA findings until internal probe is over.

"In this case, we will once again revise our relations with WADA as we believe that this organization is to be held responsible for what is going on in the system of anti-doping," he said. "We have been relying on them, we have been guided by their standards, their system of control, the accreditations they issued to our laboratories and organizations. It was them who controlled the system of doping control, including at the Sochi Olympics."

"So far, we cannot agree with the findings until we have verified facts. Once our law enforcers conduct a probe and find these materials convincing, everybody will be held answerable personally. But we must go on, we cannot lose Russian sport," Mutko stressed.

The Independent Commission of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) 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.

Earlier, Mutko told TASS all the materials related to the McLaren findings will be referred for a domestic probe.

Russian law enforcement bodies will study WADA commission’s report 

"We are on the eve of the Olympic Games and I hope that the common sense will prevail and we will switch to facts pointing to the responsibility of certain people," Mutko said. "I must say that the report will be thoroughly studied and handed over to law enforcement bodies."

"I believe it is possible that legal proceedings may emerge concerning certain aspects because it is important to understand what served as the ground for making conclusions about some sort of insane government-sponsored [doping abuse] system, which we never had," Mutko said.

Russia is ready to cooperate 

Mutko stressed the Russian Sports Ministry supports the IOC decisions.

"As the minister of sports I can say that we, just like the IOC, are shocked and believe that today an unprecedented attack is underway on the whole Olympic movement," Mutko said in an interview with TASS. "We are sharing the same position with the IOC in this regard and are supporting it."

"I can say that we absolutely agree with today’s [IOC] decisions and support them," he said. "We are ready for an all-embracing cooperation with the commission, set up by the IOC."

Commenting on the IOC decision to postpone the decision regarding the participation of the Russian national Olympic squad at the 2016 Olympics, Mutko said, "We completely support the IOC that an individual approach must be taken."

"I am sure that international sports federations are capable of giving evaluation to any athlete," he said.

The minister is ready to skip traveling to 2016 Rio Olympics

Mutko said  he was ready to skip travelling to the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro as this issue was not the most important at the moment.

"As for the ban of sports officials - we have been always guests at the Olympics," Mutko said in an interview with TASS. "We [officials] are even required to carry a special pass to enter Olympic villages."

"The most important for me is that our national Olympic team will go to the [Rio] Olympics," he said. "I need to understand now that if this [ban] concerns me as well, I will accept it. This is not the most important issue at the moment."

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