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MOSCOW, March 31. /TASS/. Russia has to restore anti-doping system as soon as possible to enable the national team to take part in the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in South Korea’s PyeongChang, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko told reporters on Friday.
"Last year, our task was to seriously take on these challenges. We succeeded in doing so, we started reforming the system, introduced a slew of new norms and requirements, and began to create anti-doping system in the country," said Mutko, Russia’s former sports minister.
If this system does not work and if no effort is undertaken in the regions to clean up sports, it will be difficult to combat this phenomenon, he warned. "We should make every effort to restore our anti-doping system and perform at the 2018 Olympics," Mutko stressed.
The deputy prime minister recalled that last year was noteworthy for sports, which brimmed with numerous pivotal episodes. "It brought us big sports events such as the Olympics, but there was a challenge as well. Russian sports faced great pressure. We saw double standards and political interference - this uncovered many problems existing in global sport," he noted.
The next Winter Olympics, which are the 23rd Winter Olympic Games, will take place in South Korea’s PyeongChang on February 9-25, 2018.
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 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).