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McLaren: Probe into doping of Russian athletes at 2014 Olympics to be completed in 2016

WADA ready to investigate situation with doping in other countries, according to Independent Commission's head Richard McLaren

ZURICH (Switzerland), September 19. /TASS/. The investigation into doping manipulations of Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi will be completed in 2016, Richard McLaren, head of the Independent Commission of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), told TASS.

It was earlier reported that McLaren will finish his investigation in September or October 2016.

When asked whether the results of the investigation will be available this year or next year, McLaren said: "This year, for sure. I don’t know the precise date."

According to McLaren, the names of athletes involved in manipulations will be provided to the relevant sports federations.

"As the independent person, I will never name them," McLaren said. "I will provide the names to the relevant sports federations and they will have to determine what is to be done because they are responsible for results management," he added. "I’ll tell this to international federations, they will decide what they are going to do with the information and that process will begin soon - providing names to international federations," he noted.

Information provided by Moscow anti-doping lab ex-chief

McLaren went on to say that the information provided by former head of the Moscow anti-doping laboratory Grigory Rodchenkov about manipulations with doping tests of Russian athletes at the 2014 Games is accurate.

"We have information cross checks with what he told us and so we are able to determine what he told us was credible and accurate," McLaren said. "Grigory Rodchenkov has been a witness. I’ve interviewed him on a number of occasions. I do not communicate with him but I have had some interview with him but I am not in regular communication with him," he added.

"I think it’s well-known that he’s in the USA. Where is in the USA is not known," MacLaren said noting that "he’s definitely alive."

A criminal case has been opened in Russia against Rodchenkov over abuse of power.

In May, The New York Times published an article with Rodchenkov’s statements claiming that the so-called doping program existed in Russia. It has allegedly been planned for several years in order to ensure the victory of the Russian national team at the Sochi Olympics. Rodchenkov said he is ready to provide proof to WADA and the International Olympic Committee (IOC). He also called for re-checking doping tests from the 2014 Games which are stored in Lausanne.

Russian anti-doping commission should improve situation

McLaren  noted that head of the Independent Public Anti-Doping Commission Vitaly Smirnov is able to help Russia improve the situation with doping.

"I have not communicated with him and I would hope that may occur in the near future," McLaren said. "I know that he is a famous person, I know published detailed about himself and his career," he added. When asked whether he, as the head of the independent commission, will help the process of improvement, McLaren said: "I hope he will. I expect he will."

On July 22, Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed to the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) to set up an independent public commission for controlling the fight against doping. On July 25, ROC’s Executive Committee approved the candidacy of Vitaly Smirnov as the head of the commission.

WADA ready to launch investigations in other countries

The commission's head said that WADA is ready to conduct investigations into the situation with doping in other countries.

"Nobody has asked me to do that. But if somebody did, I would consider it but at the moment that’s theoretical. I am busy with what I am doing," McLaren said.

On July 18, WADA’s Independent Commission headed by McLaren presented a report on investigation into doping abuse allegations at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. The report claimed that positive doping tests were replaced in Russia in 643 cases from 2011 to 2015, with athletes from 30 disciplines involved. The investigation became the reason some Russian athletes were not allowed to compete at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, and the whole Russian team was banned from the Rio Paralympic Games.