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Russian Sports Ministry urges investigation into facts stated in McLaren report

December 09, 2016, 18:13 UTC+3

The head of the Russian Independent Public Anti-Doping Commission stresses there has never been an organized system for the falsification of doping samples

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© Vitaly Belousov/TASS

MOSCOW, December 9. /TASS/. The Russian Sports Ministry will advise the authorities concerned to look into all facts and circumstances mentioned in the second part of the report by the independent commission of the World Anti-Doping Agency under Richard McLaren.

WADA on Friday published the second part of the McLaren-led independent commission devoted to doping in Russian sports. To a large extent the content of the report had been presented by the former director of the Moscow anti-doping laboratory, Grigory Rodchenkov.

"The Sports Ministry is closely studying the report’s contents in order to formulate a constructive attitude. At the same time the Sports Ministry officially declares there are no government-run programs for supporting doping in sports and it will continue to fight against doping from position of zero tolerance," the news release says.

"The Russian authorities are looking into all facts mentioned in the first part of the McLaren report. The Russian Sports Ministry will advise the authorities in question to thoroughly investigate the circumstances contained in the second part," the ministry said in a news release.

The Russian Olympic Committee has begun studying the report, President of the committee, Alexander Zhukov, told TASS on Friday.

"The Russian Olympic Committee and (Vitaly) Smirnov’s Independent Anti-Doping Commission have started working with the second part of McLaren’s report. The documents needs to be studied in detail," Zhukov said.

Vitaly Smirnov, the head of the Russian Independent Public Anti-Doping Commission, told journalists:

"Despite the presented accusations I would like to point out that there has never been an organized system in Russia for the falsification (of doping samples)." 

"We have received McLaren’s report, seen and heard his press conference. Now the material is being translated and as soon as it is ready in Russian, we’ll post it on the website. We do not deny that the problem in our country exists and the competent bodies are dealing with this and studying this," Smirnov said.

The doping problem is of global nature and it is necesary to unite the efforts to solve it, the senior Russian anti-doping official said.

"The problem raised by McLaren is not a problem of only one country. It can be said this is a common problem and evil. McLaren stated that we all should be together and I believe that we must fight this phenomenon not in one country but this phenomenon as a whole, against which we need to unite forces and struggle," Smirnov said.

"The problem raised by McLaren is not the problem of just one country," Smirnov said. "We are being witnesses of the daily information that athletes from various countries are taking doping. This is a common evil, which must be fought against by joining efforts."

"We can say that the accusations advanced in the second part of the report are non-existent to a certain extent as relevant measures have already been taken," he said.

"Justice and the right to take a worthy place among equals is to be fought for. Protection of our athletes is number one goal we should be striving for," Smirnov said.

About external pressures on Russian sports ahead of the 2018 winter Olympics Smirnov said: "If one takes a look at the history of our state, it will be readily seen that we have been under constant pressures. It is important to understand when such pressure does make sense and when it does not. If the intentions are good, if they stem from the desire to make world sports clean, we are for an impartial inquiry, while partial attitudes are impermissible."

"Our representatives in international federations play a great role. We’ve been losing our foothold in some federations. Our image there is very poor. We’ve got to be self-critical," Smirnov said.

WADA considers the decision to make Yelena Isinbayeva head of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency Supervisory Council to be rash.

"I have had a conversation with WADA President Craig Reedie concerning Isinbayeva’s election, he believes it to be a rash decision. But I said that our Commission doesn’t handle such matters. I understand their concern, this is an aspect that I had to explain," Smirnov said.

The Russian Anti-Doping Agency announced on December 7 that Isinbayeva had been appointed to take charge of the Supervisory Board of the agency. She is also a member of the International Olympic Committee Athletes’ Commission.

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