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Russian cyclists demand IOC, WADA verify whistleblower’s information

September 16, 3:07 UTC+3 MOSCOW
UCI did not admit the Russian track cyclists Kirill Sveshnikov, Dmitry Strakhov and Dmitry Sokolov to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio
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© AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko

MOSCOW, September 16. /TASS/. Russian cyclists have forwarded a letter to the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the International Cycling Union (UCI) where they demand the setting-up of an independent international commission for verification of the claims made by the former chief of the Moscow Anti-Doping Center, Grigory Rodchenkov and featured in the report of the so-called McClaren commission.

"Our cyclists have sent a letter of the IOC, WADA and UCI where they demand the setting-up of an international commission to scrutinize Rodchenkov’s claims cited in the report by Richard McClaren and exclusion of Rodchenkov’s evidence from the report if the experts don’t recognize the claims as grounded ones," the sports lawyer Artyom Patsev, who represents the athletes, wrote in Facebook.

UCI did not admit the Russian track cyclists Kirill Sveshnikov, Dmitry Strakhov and Dmitry Sokolov to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, as their named were mentioned in the report of WADA’s ‘independent commission’ under the baton of Dr. Richard McClaren of Canada.

McClaren partly used Rodchenkov’s revelations as the basis for his findings.

It is not exactly clear so far the misuse of what medicines the Russian cyclists were charged with but their letter to the three global sports agencies says McClaren claimed their doping test samples might contain erythropoietin.

Sokolov, Sveshnikov and Strakhov strongly deny these charges.

In mid-May, The New York Times published an article quoting Grigory Rodchenkov’s claims about the existence of a so-called doping program in Russia that had allegedly existed over many years to ensure the Russian athletes’ victories at the home Winter Olympic Games in Sochi in 2014.

On July 18, WADA’s ‘independent commission’ with Richard McClaren at the head presented a report on the investigation into charges with doping manipulations at the Sochi Games. It claimed the replacement of doping tests occurred in Russia in 643 cases in the period of 2012 through to 2015 and the system presumably embraced the athletes in thirty sports disciplines.

Dr. McClaren stressed along with it the provisional character of his report and said the investigation would go on.

Pursuant to the commission’s findings, the WADA executive board issued a recommendation to the IOC and international sports federations to deny Russian athletes the entry for their competitions and tournaments.

The IOC took account of the McClaren report but decided to admit Russian athletes to the Summer Olympic Games in Rio on the basis of admissions made by sports federations. Eventually, 280 athletes of the 387 the Russian Olympic Committee made an application for initially happened to meet the IOC criteria.

In the meantime, the International Paralympic Committee took a radically different decision on the basis of the same report and issued a blanket prohibition for Team Russia to perform at the Summer Paralympic Games in Rio.

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