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Russia’s senior lawmaker rips into WADA as ‘card hustling con artists’

August 03, 15:21 UTC+3 MOSCOW
"’Clean athletes,’ ‘dirty athletes,’ ‘clean countries,’ ‘dirty countries’… What sort of fascist and racist terminology is that?" Vladimir Komoyedov said
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MOSCOW, August 3. /TASS/. Ongoing doping accusations hurled at Russian athletes by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and its President Craig Reedie could be considered something like card hustling, a senior Russian lawmaker said on Wednesday.

Earlier in the day WADA chief, Reedie said addressing a news conference in Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro, which is set to host the 2016 Summer Olympics in less than three days, that his agency was ready to provide the International Olympic Committee (IOC) with the names of the so-called ‘Russian dirty athletes,’ who allegedly took performance enhancing drugs during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

"WADA looks like a bunch of swindlers playing cards," Vladimir Komoyedov, the head of the Russian State Duma’s Committee on Defense, was cited as saying in a statement from his press office.

The lawmaker said he believed that WADA had not only embroiled itself in a complex game of mud-slinging about alleged doping abuse at Russian sport, but also against Russia itself by "accusing the country’s authorities of establishing a doping system to obtain extreme achievements."

"’Clean athletes,’ ‘dirty athletes,’ ‘clean countries,’ ‘dirty countries’… What sort of fascist and racist terminology is that?" Komoyedov asserted adding that he had always been a staunch supporter of anti-doping regulations in sports.

"If an athlete violated some regulation in the quest to win, evidence must be revealed about it, but don’t sneer and make him or her, an outcast," the lawmaker said.

"Generally, athletes are the elite of the nation," he said. "Youngsters look up to them, parents and school teachers are proud of them and now we sling mud at them."

Komoyedov said that the ongoing developments were the result "of double standards, which, unfortunately, is customary at the moment for the West and first and foremost, for the United States."

"How can we even speak about human rights, when the principle of presumption of innocence is trampled on at very official levels?"

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