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Russian sports chief says serious reforms in sight for national weightlifting federation

August 01, 19:25 UTC+3 PARIS
The IWF announced last Friday its decision to ban the whole Russian weightlifting team from the 2016 Olympic Games
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Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko

Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko

© EPA/MAXIM SHIPENKOV

PARIS, August 1. /TASS/. Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said on Monday serious reformations are planned for the national weightlifting federation in the wake of the International Weightlifting Federation’s (IWF) decision to ban all Russian weightlifters from the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil.

The IWF announced last Friday its decision to ban the whole Russian weightlifting team from the 2016 Olympic Games, which kick off this week in Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro, due to confirmed Adverse Analytical Findings (AAF) in reanalyzed doping samples of seven Russian athletes from the 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics, hosted by Beijing and London respectively.

"We need to seriously work on the reformations in this sport," Mutko, who is currently on a visit to France, said. "We need to once again closely focus on the problem of doping in this sport. I believe that extremely serious reformation decisions are to be made regarding this federation."

The IWF stated last week a total of seven confirmed AAFs for Russian weightlifters from the combined reanalysis process of London and Beijing.

The World Anti-Doping Agency’s (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.

Following the commission’s report, 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.

IOC President Thomas Bach, however, announced on July 24 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.

He made the statement after a 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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