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Russian Foreign Ministry pledges support for anti-doping commission's activity

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said he was ready to offer all-round support in the settlement of the tasks facing the independent anti-doping commission

MOSCOW, October 31. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met on Monday with the chairman of the independent anti-doping commission, Vitaly Smirnov, pledging all-round support in the settlement of commission’s tasks, including its return within the international legal framework, ministry sources said after the meeting.

The ministry said Lavrov and Smirnov discussed Russia’s participation in implementation of international conventions of UNESCO and the Council of Europe aimed at anti-doping fight, as well as relations with the International Olympic Committee and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

"Smirnov informed (the foreign minister) about the efforts taken towards returning the Russian anti-doping system within the international legal framework," the ministry said. "Lavrov, for his part, said he was ready to offer all-round support in the settlement of the tasks facing the commission".

On July 25, the Russian Olympic Committee’s Executive Board approved the establishment of the independent public anti-doping commission. Vitaly Smirnov, who is an IOC honorary member, was appointed the head of the new body. Smirnov worked for the IOC for 45 years and he also served as the ROC president between 1992 and 2001.

The decision to form the commission came after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced in mid-July that the Russian Olympic Committee could set up an independent public commission on the issues of fight against the abuse of performance enhancing drugs. The presidential proposal followed an array of sanctions against the Russian sports on accusations of doping abuse.

In November last year the WADA Independent Commission carried out an investigation in regard to the activities of the All-Russia Athletics Federation (ARAF), the Moscow anti-doping laboratory, the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) and the Russian Sports Ministry, and announced the results of the probe on November 9.

The commission accused certain athletes and sports officials of doping abuse and involvement in other activities related to violations of international regulations on performance enhancing substances. The work of the Moscow anti-doping laboratory and the Russian Anti-Doping Agency was eventually suspended.