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Russian investigators prove nonexistence of state sponsored doping scheme — minister

November 08, 20:16 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The Russian sports minister comments on the results of the probe conducted by the Russian Investigative Committee in regard to Grigory Rodchenkov, the former head of the Moscow Anti-Doping Laboratory

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MOSCOW, November 8. /TASS/. Results of the probe conducted by the Russian Investigative Committee in regard to Grigory Rodchenkov, the former head of the Moscow Anti-Doping Laboratory, prove that Russia never had the state sponsored doping program, Russian Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov told TASS on Wednesday.

"We have always denied an existence of a state supported doping system," Kolobkov said in an interview with TASS. "Conclusions drawn by the Investigative Committee confirm our stance and prove that Russia is innocent of mass doping abuse (accusations)."

"The Investigative Committee has done enormous work establishing the truth," the sports minister said. "The Russian Ministry of Sports has been providing it (the committee) with an all-embracing assistance during the investigation."

"I believe that the evidence provided by the Investigative Committee will be taken into account during further decisions of all international sports organizations in regard to Russian athletes," Kolobkov added.

Moscow has opened a criminal case against Rodchenkov on charges of official misconduct and the destruction of athletes’ doping samples and put him on an international wanted list.

The Russian Investigative Committee announced on Wednesday that it would seek Rodchenkov’s extradition to Russia. In addition, an obstruction of justice charge is being filed against Rodchenkov, who absconded to the US back in late 2015 and has remained in hiding there ever since.

Last year, the Independent Commission of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) chaired by Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren released a report on the outcome of a probe into alleged doping schemes at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games.

The report was based on testimony given by former Moscow Anti-Doping Laboratory chief Rodchenkov, who accused Russia of allegedly conducing a state sponsored doping scheme.

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