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Russia not hiding athletes in closed cities from doping control - official

November 20, 2016, 14:43 updated at: November 20, 2016, 15:51 UTC+3 GLASGOW
During a meeting of the World Anti-Doping Agency Foundation Board Meeting, the event participants said doping officers could not get access to Russian closed cities to take probes from athletes
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GLASGOW /Scotland/, November 20. /TASS/. The inability of taking doping probes from Russian athletes in closed cities has nothing to do with an intention to hide them from anti-doping services, head of Russia’s Independent Public Anti-Doping Commission Vitaly Smirnov told reporters on Sunday.

During a meeting of the World Anti-Doping Agency Foundation Board Meeting on Sunday, the event participants said doping officers could not get access to Russian closed cities to take probes from athletes.

"The roadmap exists, we have received it, and here we are full of optimism, there are several questions there, addressed to us traditionally, and one of them is about closed cities," he said. "I can understand nature of suspicion, as there is a certain misunderstanding what such cities in our country are about, or in any other country, including on the North American continent."

"They claim we are hiding there our athletes," he continued. "This is not true to life."

The Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) is not accredited by WADA now, and thus cannot be working. Smirnov’s commission has a purpose to restore rights of the Russian Agency.

Russian anti-doping official says had long meeting with McLaren

Smirnov said he had a long meeting with head of the Independent Commission at the World Anti-Doping Agency.

"Recently, I have had a long meeting with Professor McLaren," he said during WADA’s Executive Committee Meeting on Sunday. "Our commission also works with IOC commissions heads - Misters Oswald and Kanive, we are working hard on raising effectiveness of fighting doping in our country, and the key approach, which I shall never ignore, is the zero tolerance to any doping in sports. We wish the changes in the Russian society were even slightly more prompt."

"But, at the same time, with the objective of having practically ideal system in Russia, we believe, similar approaches to fighting doping should be recognized across the world," he added.

Russia unlikely to receive McLaren report before release

Russia’s Independent Public Anti-Doping Commission will not have the opportunity to see the final version of report by the Independent Commission led by Richard McLaren, WADA, before the release, Smirnov told reporters.

WADA’s head Oliver Niggli announced on Sunday, the final version of McLaren’s report is due to be released on December 9.

"I do not think so," Smirnov said replying to the question whether the Russian side might see it before the publication.

McLaren’s report not to have claims against Russia

The final version of the report from the Independent Commission of the World Anti-Doping Agency will not contain new facts proving Russian state authorities’ involvement in possible hiding of doping violations, Smirnov told reporters.

"I had a three-hour meeting with McLaren, I told him a lot about the Soviet and Russian sports," Smirnov said. "I do not enjoy the stir around this release. I do not think there will be new claims there. I have a feeling, this part would be different from the first one."

"During the meeting with McLaren, we did not have tough moments. There were questions about the Commission, what authorities we have, whether we are paid salaries. They have noted my watch is worth 200 franks, just like his."

The commission led by Smirnov was organized in July, following an order from Russia’s President Vladimir Putin.

The Independent Commission of WADA, chaired by Canadian law professor, Richard McLaren, released the now-infamous July 18 report on the results of a probe into the accusations of doping and manipulation of tests by Russian athletes and officials at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games.

The commission’s report led to the partial ban of the country’s national Olympians from the 2016 Summer Games and the suspension of the entire Paralympic team from the 2016 Paralympics in Brazil.

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