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Moscow to continue defending Russian athletes from unfounded doping accusations — Kremlin

November 28, 14:23 UTC+3 MOSCOW

It is important to continue defending the athletes with all possible means, the Kremlin spokesman said

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MOSCOW, November 28. /TASS/. Russia will consistently defend its athletes from unfounded accusations of using doping, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Tuesday.

"You know the Kremlin’s stance (on these accusations): they are unfounded and we disagree with these decisions," Peskov said. "It is most important to continue the systematic and active substantial steps on defending our athletes with all possible means," he stressed.

Last year, the World Anti-Doping Agency’s Independent Commission, chaired by Canadian sports law professor Richard McLaren, published a report on the results of investigating alleged doping schemes at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. The report was based on testimony given by former Moscow Anti-Doping Laboratory chief Grigory Rodchenkov, who accused Russia of allegedly conducting a state sponsored doping scheme that involved more than 1,000 athletes.

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 looking into accusations set out in the McLaren report that alleges the existence of a supposed institutional conspiracy in Russia’s summer and winter sports, in which the country’s state officials were allegedly engaged in.

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.

Based on the results of the commissions’ investigations the IOC is set to decide during its Executive Board’s session on December 5 whether the Russian national team would be cleared to take part in the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics.

A spokeswoman for the Russian Investigative Committee, Svetlana Petrenko said earlier on Tuesday that Rodchenkov continues making unfounded accusations that Russia had tampered doping tests of its athletes. She also noted that more than 700 athletes, coaches, medical staff workers of Russia’s teams and sports federations, the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) and the Anti-Doping Center were questioned by the investigators. They denied the conclusions of McLaren and unfounded accusations of Rodchenkov that there is a state doping program in Russia, Petrenko said.

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