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Russian Olympic Committee approves establishment of public anti-doping commission

July 25, 2016, 18:58 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The commission will be headed by Vitaly Smirnov, an honorary member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), according to ROC President Alexander Zhukov

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© AP Photo/Felipe Dana

MOSCOW, July 25. /TASS/. The Executive Board of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) approved on Monday the establishment of a public anti-doping commission, ROC President Alexander Zhukov told journalists.

The commission will be headed by Vitaly Smirnov, an honorary member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), according to Zhukov.

The decision came after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced last Friday that the ROC could set up an independent public commission on the issues of fight against the abuse of performance enhancing drugs.

"ROC decided to set up a commission on the fight against doping abuse in sports," Zhukov said. "We will announce later the official name of the commission. Smirnov has been appointed as the chairman of the new body."

"He [Smirnov] is an honorary member of the IOC and a respected person in the international sports," ROC President Zhukov added.

Speaking after the establishment of the commission and his appointment, Smirnov said: "I would like to congratulate all of us that we [Russia] were granted the right to take part in the Olympics."

"This is the most important news at the moment, but it is still marred to some extent by certain problems regarding the abuse of performance enhancing substances by our athletes," Smirnov said. "Our new commission’s priority task is to wage the war against this evil. As of now, we need to thoroughly analyze all peculiarities."

Smirnov, 81, is also the president emeritus of ROC and is the honorary member of the IOC, where he worked for 45 years. He served as the president of ROC between 1992 and 2001.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Independent Commission, chaired by Canadian law professor, Richard McLaren, released a report on July 18 on the results of its probe into the accusations of doping and manipulation of tests by Russian athletes and officials at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games.

According to the details, the commission claimed it had found evidence that Russia’s Sports Ministry and the Center for the Training of Russian National Teams and the Federal Security Service had covered up a doping program in Russian sports.

The report from WADA’s Commission stated in particular that the commission’s investigation registered a total of 643 cases of Disappearing Positive Test Results in Russia between 2012 and 2015 involving athletes from 30 sports.

Following the commission’s report last week, WADA recommended the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and all international sports federations ban Russian athletes from all international sports competitions, including Rio 2016.

Following a conference call by its Executive Board on July 24, the IOC urged international federations for winter sports events to suspend preparations for major competitions in Russia. The motion will be in effect until December 31, 2016 and may be reviewed at a December session of the IOC Executive Board.

IOC President Thomas Bach, however, announced on Sunday that Russian athletes, with the exception of field and track competitors, were allowed to participate in the 2016 Summer Olympics based on individual approval of each respective international sports federation or association.

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