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Russia assists IOC commissions in doping investigations - minister

September 16, 14:11 UTC+3 MOSCOW

In July 2016, the IOC set up two separate commissions to probe doping abuse allegations in Russian sports

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MOSCOW, September 16. /TASS/. The Russian side assists two commissions of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in their investigations into the doping probes from the 2014 Olympic Games, Russia’s Minister of Sports Pavel Kolobkov told reporters on Saturday.

On Friday, most IOC members, including President of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Craig Reedie, pointed out that the statement of 17 national agencies with the National Anti-Doping Organizations (NADO) to bar Russian athletes from the 2018 Olympics in South Korea was inappropriate.

"WADA President Craig Reedie’s words were very important as he was speaking about the active work aimed to reinstate the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) and about huge progress that has been made. The full reinstatement might occur in November. It is the key and extremely significant moment in our cooperation," Head of the Russian Olympic Committee Alexander Zhukov said.

"Also, his comment on the 17 anti-doping agencies’ demand to suspend Russia from the Olympic Games is important. He said that it differs from the WADA position, since on the contrary, cooperation with Russia goes on in a positive manner. After that, some IOC members in their speeches largely criticized the statements incurring considerable damage to the Olympic movement. In their words, there should not be any collective responsibility," he said.

The Russian minister said on Saturday:"from what was said yesterday [at the IOC session] it was clear that they will finish the work before the year-end."

"We are assisting them in everything, we contact all the parties," he added. "We are working, and we do not have any pessimistic moods."

"Heads of the commissions are serious people, who do not say words for no reasons. We are working with them - this is routine, daily work," the minister continued. "We listen attentively to what IOC and the World Anti-Doping Agency are saying."

In July 2016, the IOC 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 is tasked to address alleged doping uses and manipulation of samples concerning the Russian athletes, who participated in the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014.

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 in 2016 with two parts to the report, the first delivered in July and the second in early December.

The XXIII Winter Olympic Games will take place in South Korea’s PyeongChang on February 9-25, 2018, and Russia’s participation in the event is still under a question.

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