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Russian sports minister critical of RUSADA head's remarks to foreign media

"Such serious accusations require solid grounds," Kolobkov said

MOSCOW, October 16. /TASS/. The recent statements made by the head of Russia's anti-doping agency RUSADA may lead to Russian athletes becoming embroiled into inquiries with no clear evidence of guilt, Russia’s sports minister, Pavel Kolobkov, told TASS on Wednesday.

On September 23, WADA initiated a formal compliance procedure against RUSADA due to changes found in the database of the Moscow laboratory. On Tuesday, The New York Times published Ganus’ statement alleging that people close to Russian authorities had made "thousands of changes" in doping test results transferred over to international experts by the Moscow anti-doping laboratory, which led to WADA’s issues with RUSADA.

"Such serious accusations require solid grounds," Kolobkov said. "By putting them forward, one may embroil athletes into inquiries on cases that have no clear evidence of guilt."

"We are working in cooperation with international organizations - the World Anti-Doping Agency, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and sports federations, and we will keep going in this direction," the minister added.

The WADA Executive Committee reinstated the compliance status of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) on September 20, 2018 on condition that WADA experts would be granted access before December 31, 2018 to doping samples at the Moscow Anti-Doping Lab, which was sealed off in connection with a federal investigation.

Specialists from WADA were granted access to the database of the Moscow Anti-Doping Laboratory in January this year and copied 24 terabytes of information on Russian athletes’ doping samples collected between 2012 and 2015. WADA experts finished their work to retrieve doping samples from the Moscow Lab on April 30 having collected 2,262 doping samples in 4,524 containers (Samples A and B).

On October 8, Russian sports minister Pavel Kolobkov said the Russian side provided WADA with clarifications on all issues related to the database.