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Issues of RUSADA reinstatement, Russia’s Olympic participation not linked — deputy premier

November 14, 2017, 23:55 UTC+3 MOSCOW

"This issue is up to the IOC to decide," Vitaly Mutko said

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 Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko

© Stoyan Vasev/TASS

MOSCOW, November 14. /TASS/. The decision to be made by WADA regarding the membership reinstatement of the Russian anti-doping agency, RUSADA, will in no way influence the issue of the country’s participation in the 2018 Olympic Games in South Korea’s PyeongChang, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko said on Tuesday.

Earlier, New York Times published an article which states that a WADA commission is to recommend at the organization’s foundation board meeting not to reinstate membership of RUSADA at a meeting due in Seoul on November 16. According to the paper, if the board follows the recommendation, Russian paralympic athletes will be barred from the Games, because the International Paralympic Committee earlier said it would not allow Russians to participate if the suspension of RUSADA remains in place.

"New York Times, apparently, is the press service of the IOC and WADA commissions. If they published WADA’s report about its work in Russia in full, then everyone could see that 80% of the report is devoted to the giant effort made by Russia, which met all criteria of the roadmap [to have its WADA membership reinstated] except two, which emerged at a later date, in the form of recommendations from independent commissions," Mutko said. "And the decision about RUSADA’s reinstatement will have no influence on the participation of our athletes in the Games."

"This has no relation whatsoever to the participation of our national team in the Games, this issue is up to the IOC to decide. RUSADA continues its work, its status was partially reinstated, it is engaged in the planning of doping tests and taking samples under control of the UK anti-doping body. We take our samples to Western labs, who, of course, run a good business and generate a nice profit [by processing them]. One should keep this in mind," Mutko said.

WADA recognized RUSADA as not complying with its code based on the report made by an independent commission headed by Richard Pound in November 2015. Later, the agencies worked out a roadmap to restore RUSADA’s membership. According to it, the Russian side has to recognize the findings from McLaren’s report that says there was a state doping program in Russia during the 2014 Olympic Games. The Russian side recognized there had been isolated anti-doping rule violations and rejected the existence of a state doping program.

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