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IOC comes up with 12-point declaration on protection of clean athletes

March 16, 19:34 UTC+3 MOSCOW
On of the most important decisions mentioned in the 12-point declaration was the IOC decision to set up an Independent Testing Authority
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© Valery Sharifulin/TASS, archive

MOSCOW, March 16. /TASS/. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) issued a declaration on Thursday stepping up efforts against the fight of performance enhancing drugs’ abuse as part of its ongoing work aimed at "a more robust and independent global Anti-Doping System to protect clean athletes," according to a statement from the world’s governing Olympic body.

The declaration, which consists of 12 provisions, was approved during the IOC Executive Board’s meeting on Thursday in South Korea’s PyeongChang, which will be hosting the Winter Olympic Games next year.

"Already in October 2015, the Olympic Summit proposed an independent anti-doping testing and sanctioning system," the statement from the IOC said. "In particular, after the publication of the interim report of Prof. McLaren in July 2016, a broad public debate started about the future of the WADA Anti-Doping System."

"Having followed closely and participated in this debate, the IOC Executive Board today emphasizes the Olympic Movement perspective of a more robust and independent anti-doping system," the statement said.

The first and the most important opening provision of the declaration state in particular that: "The World Anti-Doping Agency must be equally independent from both sports organisations and from national interests."

"This is necessary because even the perception of a conflict of interests can be considered damaging to the credibility of the anti-doping system," the statement said. "With regard to national interests, this is particularly important because of the recent challenges to the system from certain National Anti-Doping Organisations (NADOs), from disputes between different NADOs, and from appeals by International Federations (IF) against decisions of National Anti-Doping Institutions."

Another important decision mentioned in the 12-point declaration was the IOC decision to set up an Independent Testing Authority (ITA).

"The ITA to develop with each respective International Federation an International Test Distribution Plan (ITDP) not only by sport but by discipline," the statement said. "This ITDP to contain a minimum number of tests for every athlete wanting to participate in the World Championships or in the Olympic Games."

IOC spokesman Christian Klaue wrote in his Twitter account earlier in the day that IOC President Thomas Bach invited President of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Craig Reedie and head of WADA’s Independent Commission Richard McLaren for talks on allegations on doping abuse in Russian sports.

Beginning last year, Russian athletes were constantly under the gun due to numerous doping abuse accusations. The World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) Independent Commission, chaired by Canadian sports law professor Richard McLaren, conducted an investigation into doping allegations in Russian sports and eventually came up with two parts to the report, the first delivered in July and the second in early December.

Less than two years ago, the WADA Independent Commission carried out an investigation of the activities of RUSADA (Russian Anti-Doping Agency), the All-Russia Athletics Federation (ARAF), the Moscow anti-doping laboratory and the Russian Sports Ministry, and announced the results of the probe on November 9, 2015.

The commission accused certain athletes and sports officials of doping abuse and involvement in other activities related to violations of international regulations on performance enhancing substances. The work of the Moscow anti-doping laboratory and RUSADA was eventually suspended.

Starting in January 2016, control over anti-doping regulations in Russian sports has been exercised by RUSADA strictly under the supervision of the British anti-doping agency (UKAD).

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