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Extra doping samples to be taken from candidate to Russia team ahead of 2018 Olympics

September 15, 2017, 21:49 UTC+3 LIMA

Special control will be imposed to rule out any doubts about cleanliness of our athletes, President of the Russian Olympic Committee Alexander Zhukov said

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LIMA, September 15. /TASS/. Candidates to Russia’s national team will have to undergo extra anti-doping tests ahead of the 2018 Olympic Games in South Korea’s PyeongChang, President of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) Alexander Zhukov said on Friday.

Currently, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is verifying data from the notorious report of the WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) Independent Commission led by Canadian sports lawyer Richard McLaren on doping abuses in Russian sport to decide on clearing the Russian team for the 2018 Olympic Games.

"As for candidates to the Russian team, including ice hockey teams, special control will be imposed to rule out any doubts about cleanliness of our athletes. Before making decisions about participation of our athletes, international federations will take into account samples that are to be taken at the beginning of the winter season," Zhukov said.

"Additional samples will be taken from candidates to the Olympic team. It is important to take these samples within the last six months [of the year preceding the Olympics]. So, as soon as the winter season starts, all athletes on the list of candidates to the national team will have to undergo at least three additional tests along with those they will undergo at international competitions," he said, adding that the samples would be checked at WADA-accredited international laboratories.

Canadian sports lawyer Richard McLaren in 2016 was appointed to lead a special panel of inquiry of the World Anti-Doping Agency commissioned to probe into charges by the former chief of the Moscow anti-doping laboratory, Grigory Rodchenkov, who alleged that Russian athletes’ doping tests at the 2014 Olympics were faked. When the first part of the McLaren report was published in the summer of 2016, the WADA Executive Committee advised the International Olympic Committee, the International Paralympic Committee and the international federations to bar Russians from all competitions. After the publication of the second part of the report NADO (National Anti-Doping Organizations) members in January 2017 demanded that Russian athletes be barred from all international contests.

McLaren in his report quoting Rodchenkov said that more than one thousand Russian athletes in about 30 sports had been involved in systematic doping abuse. On Wednesday, WADA chief Craig Reedie told TASS the investigation of 95 Russian athletes mentioned in the report was terminated.

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