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ROC president: Russia’s team to be cleanest at Rio 2016 Olympics

July 28, 8:21 UTC+3
"I can say only one thing: we have never had any state programs for doping support. We have zero tolerance to doping," Zhukov said
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President of the Russian Olympic Committee Alexander Zhukov

President of the Russian Olympic Committee Alexander Zhukov

© Artiom Korotaev/TASS

MOSCOW, July 28. /TASS/. No state-financed doping programs have ever existed in Russia. Russia’s team will be the cleanest at the upcoming Olympics in Brazil, President of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) Alexander Zhukov told reporters on Thursday.

"I can say only one thing: we have never had any state programs for doping support. We have zero tolerance to doping. Russia’s team is the cleanest one at Rio," he said.

ROC’s independent anti-doping commission to cooperate with McLaren

The Russian Olympic Committee’s (ROC) independent anti-doping commission will collaborate with the McLaren commission which probed into accusations of Russia providing state support to doping, Alexander Zhukov added.

"You know, we have set up a special anti-doping commission. Its key tasks are to analyze and identify causes linked with doping. We cooperate with the McLaren commission on all issues, without fail," he said.

On July 22, Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested to ROC that an independent commission be set up to control doping in sport. On July 25, Vladimir Smirnov, the ROC honorary president, was appointed to chair the commission by the ROC executive board. Smirnov said that representatives to international sport federations, renowned athletes and media representatives will be included in the list of members of the commission. The move followed a series of doping scandals in Russia sport that nearly barred Russia’s team from the Olympic Games in Rio.

On July 18, WADA Independent Commission, chaired by Canadian sports law professor Richard McLaren, released a report 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.

The report claimed that the system of covering up positive doping samples in Russia had been revealed in 643 cases in 30 sport disciplines from 2011 to 2015.

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 (FSB) supported the doping program in Russian sports.

Final lineup of Russian Olympic team to be announce on July 30-31

The final lineup of the Russia team eligible for the Rio 2016 Olympics will be announced on July 30-31, Zhukov also said on Thursday.

"We will tell how many people will go in the next few days. So far, we have no final lineups in both rowing disciplines, and in another couple of teams. But nevertheless our team is strong. These are athletes who are ranked among the world elite, they will fight for victory," he said.

Only three Russian weightlifters likely to compete at Rio Olympics 

Russia’s team of weightlifter is likely to be small, with only three athletes taking part in the Rio 2016 Olympics, Alexander Zhukov said.

"The team in weightlifting is going to be small, probably of three athletes," he said, adding that the approval procedure is over on none as of yet.

On Sunday, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) held a meeting of its executive board to discuss a possible blanket ban of Russian athletes from the Rio Olympics. The IOC executive committee decided not to ban the Russian team. Individual decisions on Russian athletes have been referred to relevant international federations. Apart from that, the IOC ruled than no Russian athlete who has ever been sanctioned for doping will be allowed to take part in the Rio Olympics, even if they have served the sanction.

The 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro are scheduled for August 5-21.

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