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Russian sports minister confident Russia will be able to cope with doping problems

February 01, 20:35 UTC+3 KAZAN

The Russian sports minister said there were no grounds to speak about any state-sponsored doping system in Russia

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© EPA/CHRISTIAN BRUN

KAZAN, February 1. /TASS/. Russia will be able to cope with doping problems, Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov said at the ministry’s board meeting on Wednesday.

"I can’t but say about the situation in anti-doping policy. The work, which Russia has carried out on anti-doping since 2008, has been enormous. Now the violation of anti-doping rules is both an administrative and criminal offence. But we have been confronted with a problem and I’m confident that we’ll resolve this situation," Kolobkov said.

The Russian sports minister said there were no grounds to speak about any state-sponsored doping system in Russia.

"I’m confident that all these accusations that are now made about the alleged state-sponsored doping system have no grounds," Kolobkov said.

"But this is yet another moment for all of us to think about whether we are doing everything correctly, developing sports," Kolobkov said.

Last year on July 18, the Independent Commission of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), chaired by Canadian law professor Richard McLaren, released the first part of the now-infamous 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 report from WADA’s Commission stated in particular that the commission’s investigation registered a total of 643 cases of Disappearing Positive Test Results in Russia between 2012 and 2015 involving athletes from 30 sports.

As a result, WADA suggested that 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.

The WADA Independent Commission launched its investigation following media reports early last year which were based on a testimony from former head of Moscow anti-doping laboratory Grigory Rodchenkov.

Rodchenkov told Western media last spring that Russian athletes largely used performance enhancing drugs at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi with the approval from the national sports authorities.

On the whole, the ex-doping official claimed that the Russian sports authorities allegedly prepared a special doping program for national athletes in order to win most of the medals at home Winter Olympics in Sochi in 2014.

Following Rodchenkov’s allegations and McLaren’s report, the IOC ordered reanalysis of doping samples collected at the 2014 Olympics and the Russian Investigative Committee launched its own probe into statements made by Rodchenkov.

According to Part Two of the report, delivered by McLaren in London in early December, more than 1,000 Russian athletes competing in summer, winter and Paralympic sports could have been involved in an alleged manipulation scheme to conceal positive doping tests.

Part Two of McLaren’s report claimed in particular that doping samples of 12 Russian medalists of 2014 Winter Games in Sochi had been tampered with. In addition, doping tests of two more Russian athletes, who won four gold medals of the 2014 Sochi Olympics, had been falsified as well.

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