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Putin says Russian Olympic authorities should set up independent anti-doping commission

July 22, 2016, 16:42 UTC+3

The president proposes to IOC member Vitaly Smirnov to head Russian anti-doping commission

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© Mikhail Metzel/TASS

MOSCOW, July 22. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on Friday that the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) could set up an independent public commission on the issues of fight against the abuse of performance enhancing drugs.

"I believe it would be feasible to turn to the Russian Olympic Committee with a proposal to set up an independent and public commission, which besides Russian specialists would also include foreign experts in the spheres of medicine and law, as well as social and sports activists and experts," Putin said.

Putin reiterated that there had been and must be never any place for performance enhancing drugs in sports and this was the stance shared by the country and authorities.

The president said that "sports must always be clean and the health of athletes must be safeguarded."

"To reach this goal we must closely cooperate with the International Olympic Committee, the World Anti-Doping Agency and all international sports federations," Putin said.

On Thursday, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) turned down the appeal from the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) and 68 national athletes against IAAF, thus almost closing completely the doors for all Russian field and track athletes to the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Brazil.

The final decision on the admission of Russian athletes to the 2016 Olympics, due to kick off early next month, is yet to be made by the IOC Executive Board, which plans to hold a conference on the issue on July 24.

Last year the WADA Independent Commission carried out an investigation in regard to the activities of the ARAF, the Moscow anti-doping laboratory, the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) and the Russian Sports Ministry, and announced the results of the probe on November 9.

The commission accused certain athletes and sports officials of doping abuse and involvement in other activities related to violations of international regulations on performance enhancing substances.

Eventually, the IAAF decided to suspend All-Russian Athletics Federation’s membership in the global governing body of athletics and put forward six criteria, which ARAF was obliged to implement to restore its membership.

Starting this year doping control in Russian sports has been exercised by the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) strictly under the supervision of the British anti-doping agency (UKAD).

On June 17, the IAAF Council ruled it was still early to restore the membership of ARAF in the international organization and suspended Russian athletes from all international tournaments, including the 2016 Olympic Games.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport announced on July 4 that it received a filed lawsuit from the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) against IAAF in defense of the national field and track athletes wishing to participate in the 2016 Summer Games and began hearings into the case on July 19.

Late last month the IAAF announced that it amended the organization’s regulations in order to allow field and track athletes from Russia to submit individual applications for international tournaments.

The world’s governing body of athletics, however, emphasized that Russians, admitted to competitions on an individual basis, would be unable to perform as part of the national team and would participate only under the neutral flag.

Earlier this month, IAAF’s anti-doping department rejected personal applications from all Russian athletes for participation in international competitions, including the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, except for long jump athlete Darya Klishina.

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