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Russian official asks IOC to look into cases of Russian athletes "to molecules"

December 02, 11:24 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Based on the results of the commissions’ investigations the IOC the Russian national team would be cleared to take part in the PyeongChang Olympics

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MOSCOW, December 2. /TASS/. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) should consider to the smaller details cases of the Russian athletes suspected of violating the anti-doping regulations, Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko told TASS on Saturday.

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 PyeongChang Olympics, due in South Korea’s PyeongChang on February 9-25, 2018.

"Our colleagues are working in Switzerland, and norms of the Geneva Convention ban collective responsibility. Thus, please, look into this case to molecules and prove if an athlete is guilty. You have changed all the principles, putting them upside down, having abolished the presumption of innocence, having introduced collective responsibility - why are you enjoying such rights? Then, give us an opportunity of cross-examination, a chance to address questions to the prosecutors - but no, nothing of the kind exists," Mutko said.

"We have mentioned already, that we have good lawyers, we trust them. In addition, today my position is that if this decision is taken, it may be explained by the fact somebody must have read the accusing documents very closely. Our lawyers have explained the problem - it is impossible to be accusing outstanding athletes on the basis of suppositions only," he added.

"I have read a few statements from heads of some international federations, who claim that from a lawyer, a legal expert and an athlete we would have chosen the athlete - and this is correct. I was in Zurich, had a meeting with [Samuel] Schmitd (head of IOC’s commission, investigating involvement of the Russian sports ministry in a possible hiding of doping violations by Russian athletes - TASS), I suggested coming to common understanding of a "state program" meaning, since [Richard] McLaren (Head of the World Anti-Doping Agency’s independent commission - TASS) would render it without hesitation. We do understand certain things - opening borders, like in 2009, adopting laws, and nowhere would you find words like "order" or "state program." And the suppositions - who told what to who - those are not legal notions," he said in conclusion.

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