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Russian Biathlon Union president ready to sue WADA informant for slander

December 03, 22:30 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Kravtsov had been involved in the process of replacing doping samples taken from Russian athletes during the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi

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© Vladimir Gerdo/TASS

MOSCOW, December 3. /TASS/. President of the Russian Biathlon Union (RBU) Alexander Kravtsov told TASS on Sunday he is about to sue former chief of the Moscow Anti-Doping Laboratory Grigory Rodchenkov for slander.

In an interview with the New York Times earlier, Rodchenkov said Kravtsov had been involved in the process of replacing doping samples taken from Russian athletes during the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi. Apart from that, Rodchenkov said he had spoken with Kravtsov about doping abuses during the Sochi Olympics. In his words, Kravtsov’s personal driver had occasionally transported officers of Russia’s Federal Security Service had used Kravtsov’s personal car to the anti-doping laboratory ahead of the Games.

"I see no point to vindicate honor at a Russian court but I will consult our lawyers and I don’t rule out that I will file a lawsuit against Rodchenkov maybe with the European Court of Human Rights. So, let them work on an evidentiary base," Kravtsov said, adding that he had neither a personal driver nor a service car during the Sochi Olympics.

Last year, the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) 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.

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