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IOC chief Bach looks for WADA’s closer cooperation in Russia’s doping abuse probe

March 17, 16:55 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The IOC is waiting for recommendations from the WADA to channel the future work of its two commissions regarding the issue of the allegedly widespread doping-abuse in Russian sports

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© AP Photo/Felipe Dana

MOSCOW, March 17. /TASS/. President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Thomas Bach said on Friday he hoped that the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) will share data with two of the committee’s commissions regarding doping abuse allegations on manipulation and doping abuse in Russian sports.

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.

Addressing a news conference in South Korea’s PyeongChang on Friday, President Bach said the IOC was interested to learn how much progress had WADA achieved and what recommendations it could pass over to the IOC anti-doping commission, chaired by Samuel Shmidt.

The IOC is waiting for recommendations from the WADA, Bach continued, to channel the future work of its two commissions regarding the issue of the allegedly widespread doping-abuse in Russian sports.

Last year the IOC announced its decision to set up two separate commissions to probe doping abuse allegations in Russian sports as well as alleged involvement of state officials in manipulations with performance enhancing drugs, particularly at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia’s Sochi.

The first of the two commissions is an Inquiry Commission, chaired by the former President of Switzerland, Samuel Schmid. The commission is addressing the institutional conspiracy across summer and winter sports athletes who participated with Russian officials within the Ministry of Sport and its infrastructure, such as RUSADA, CSP and the Moscow Laboratory along with the FSB, in particular with regard to the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014.

The second investigative body at the issue is a Disciplinary Commission, chaired by IOC Member Denis Oswald. This commission addresses the question of the alleged doping and manipulation of samples concerning the Russian athletes, who participated in the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014.

IOC boosts anti-doping efforts

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."

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.

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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