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IOC president praises creation of Independent Testing Authority

March 17, 15:11 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The IOC Executive Board’s decision to set up a new independent body tasked with the fight against abuse of performance enhancing drugs came following recent doping scandals involving Russian athletes

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© EPA/LAURENT GILLIERON

MOSCOW, March 17. /TASS/. President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Thomas Bach announced his support on Friday for the committee’s decision to form an independent doping-control body.

Following the IOC Executive Board’s session in PyeongChang on Thursday, the committee came up with a statement announcing a 12-point declaration, which included intention to set up an Independent Testing Authority (ITA) as part of its ongoing efforts pursuing "a more robust and independent global Anti-Doping System to protect clean athletes."

Addressing a news conference in South Korea’s PyeongChang, which will be hosting the 2018 Winter Olympic Games, IOC President Bach said: "This list of principles to fight doping builds on other decisions we have already taken in the past."

"We deem it absolutely necessary to have an anti-doping system that is at an equal distance from sports organizations and from national interests," Bach said.

"Together with other changes, we are proposing a more independent and a more robust system," according to the IOC president. "The independent sanctioning power of the Court of Arbitration of Sport, which we experienced at the Olympic Games Rio 2016, was a good experience, as there was not a single appeal against any of the decisions taken there."

"This is one of the reasons why we believe that this is the way to go for sanctioning with regard to doping."

"Whether it concerns organizations or whether it concerns athletes, our proposals would make the system more independent, transparent and harmonized, because in the situation where a case is related to both an athlete and an organization, both sanctions would be imposed by the CAS, and we would avoid this double procedure that we had in the past," Bach added.

The IOC Executive Board’s decision to set up a new independent body tasked with the fight against abuse of performance enhancing drugs in sports came following recent doping scandals involving Russian athletes and anti-doping officials.

IOC spokesman Christian Klaue wrote in his Twitter account on Thursday that IOC President 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. The date for the talks, however, was not disclosed.

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