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Czech Olympic Committee head against barring Russian team from 2016 Games

July 21, 2016, 15:26 UTC+3 PRAGUE

The Czech Olympics head says the punishment for the Russian athletes is totally unacceptable and unjust

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© Alexandr Sherbak/TASS

PRAGUE, July 21. /TASS/. President of the Czech Olympic Committee Jiri Kejval is against barring of the Russian national team from the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. He made this statement in an interview published by the Prague-based Lidove noviny newspaper.

"The punishment for all the athletes, even in the form applied only to track and fielders, is totally unacceptable and unjust", Kejvan said. In his opinion, the Russian athletes are victims of the scandal, the responsibility for which rests with WADA.

"It’s deficiency of the system (of testing for doping - TASS) from beginning to end," he said. "It should be emphasized that doping tests at the Olympics, let us say (at the Games) in Sochi, are not taken by Russians themselves, it’s the WADA authorized representatives that get the samples. They control them in their own laboratories, and if someone claims now that somebody manipulated the samples in the Moscow laboratory, then why weren’t they sent to other laboratories? The laboratory in Cologne is located not much farther away from Sochi than Moscow".

WADA’s work raises many questions among experts, Kejvan said. "The question is how the samples (taken from Russian athletes) were controlled and how the anti-doping testing system works in general", said the Czech Olympic Committee president.

The Independent Commission of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) presented on July 18 a report on the investigation into allegations of doping fraud at the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi. Based on the report, the WADA Executive Committee recommended that the International Olympic Committee (IOC), International Paralympic Committee and all international sports federations bar Russian track and fielders from the competitions.

The IOC will decide on the issue of participation of the Russian national team in the 2016 Olympics within a week. The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne, Switzerland, announced on Thursday it turned down the appeal from the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) and 68 national athletes against International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), thus closing the doors for Russian field and track athletes to the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Brazil.

On Wednesday, the Russian Olympic Committee approved 387 athletes of the national team for the 2016 Summer Games in Brazil next month. All the 68 athletes banned by IAAF were put on the list.

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