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Russia spent $1 mln on UK anti-doping agency’s services — sports minister

July 29, 2016, 10:39 UTC+3

"We spent over $1 million on this work. But suddenly we were confronted with the problem that this could not be considered as international testing," Mutko said

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© Oli Scarff/Getty Images

MOSCOW, July 29. /TASS/. Russia has paid $1 million for the services of the UK Anti-Doping Agency (UKAD), which is cooperating with its Russian counterpart RUSADA and testing Russian athletes, Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said on Friday.

The Independent Commission of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) published on November 9 last year the results of its probe into the activity of the All-Russia Athletics Federation (ARAF), the Moscow anti-doping laboratory, the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) and the Russian Sports Ministry.

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.

RUSADA and the Moscow anti-doping laboratory subsequently suspended their activities, while WADA’s Board of Founders approved the finding of the agency’s Independent Commission that RUSADA did not comply with the Code of the international anti-doping organization.

In late January, RUSADA and UKAD signed a cooperation agreement, which will be in effect until RUSADA regains its status.

"We have been working with UKAD since January 2016. Abuses were exposed only in three athletes. We spent over $1 million on this work. But suddenly we were confronted with the problem that this could not be considered as international testing," Mutko said at a meeting of the Russian Sports Ministry’s board.

"In the opinion of some of our colleagues from international federations, this is not regarded as international testing. So, then I don’t know what can be called as international testing," the Russian sports minister said.

"Many of our athletes are young and do not have records in international federations. Some of them didn’t have a single international doping test. But they are open for doping control. However, we have been confronted with misunderstanding," Mutko said.

The 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 to 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 that 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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