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Russia’s handball team cleared for Rio Olympics —sports official

July 27, 17:25 UTC+3
The relevant guarantees were given by the International Handball Federation President Hassan Moustafa, the Russian handball chief said
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President of the Handball Federation of Russia Sergei Shishkaryov

President of the Handball Federation of Russia Sergei Shishkaryov

© Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS

MOSCOW, July 27. /TASS/. The International Handball Federation (IHF) has cleared the entire Russian handball team for the Rio Olympics, President of the Handball Federation of Russia (HFR) Sergei Shishkaryov told TASS on Wednesday.

The relevant guarantees were given by IHF President Hassan Moustafa, the Russian handball chief said.

"I recently spoke over the phone with President of the International Handball Federation Hassan Moustafa. He confirmed that our team had been cleared for participation in the Olympic Games and gave all the necessary guarantees," Shishkaryov said.

""Now an additional doping analysis of our team has been held and if, God forbid, a violation is registered, an athlete will be barred from the competitions," he added.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) conducted a sudden doping inspection of all athletes from the Russian women’s handball national team who are currently at a training base in the Moscow Region town of Novogorsk, Shishkaryov told TASS on Tuesday.

"Today, at 2:00 o’clock in the afternoon all female handball players… were subjected to doping tests," Shishkaryov said in an interview with TASS.

Shishkaryov added that the doping tests were also collected from Kseniya Makeyeva and Olga Chernoivanenko, who were not included on the national team’s roster for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil due earlier sustained injuries.

The International Handball Federation announced on Monday that it intended to conduct a thorough analysis of all players in the Russian women’s national squad ahead of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, but did not name the date of the declared doping inspection.

"After the decision of the IOC on 24 July concerning the Russian athletes who will take part in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and due to the short time, the IHF reacted immediately by sending a letter to the Russian Handball Federation to collect whereabouts information in order to conduct out-of-competition tests of the Russian women’s team participating in the 2016 Olympic Games," the statement from the IHF for TASS said.

"The samples will be analyzed by one of the WADA accredited laboratories which will integrate the results dire," the statement added.

WADA Independent Commission chaired by Canadian sports 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.

After 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.

His statement followed last Sunday’s teleconference of the IOC Executive Board, which, however, ruled than no Russian athlete, who had been previously sanctioned for doping would be allowed to take part in the Rio Olympics, even if they have served the sanction as well as any athlete mentioned in the McLaren report.

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