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Russian Olympics chief urges to fast-track adoption of list of banned doping substances

The Russian Olympics chief comments on a law adopted on November 3 on criminal liability for inducing athletes into doping use

MOSCOW, November 3. /TASS/. First Vice Speaker of the State Duma and President of Russia’s Olympic Committee Alexander Zhukov urged the government on Thursday to approve the list of doping preparations as soon as possible.

The relevant powers have been granted to the government by a law adopted on Thursday on criminal liability for inducing athletes into doping use.

"Indeed, the government needs within the shortest time possible to approve and make public the list of banned preparations because this law stipulates a very serious degree of criminal liability, imprisonment and removal form profession. That is why, it is necessary to make things clear as quickly as possible," Zhukov said at a session of the lower house of Russia’s parliament.

Chairman of the State Duma Committee for State Development and Legislation Pavel Krasheninnikov also urged the government not to delay the compilation of the list of substances banned for athletes.

"The government should approve the list of the relevant banned preparations. I’m urging colleagues from the government not to delay the process of approving this list. It has to be approved concurrently with today’s discussion," Krasheninnikov said.

The time lag between the enforcement of amendments to Russia’s Criminal Code and the approval of the list of banned preparations will act against Russian athletes, the lawmaker said.

Zhukov has described the law on criminal punishment for coercion of athletes into doping passed by the State Duma on Thursday as a response to all accusations against Russia over the alleged state support for the use of illicit drugs.

"This emphasizes once again that our state policy is zero-tolerance attitude towards doping, first and foremost, towards the coaches who coerce juvenile athletes into using illicit drugs," Zhukov said at a lower house meeting. "This is, of course, the answer to our foreign critics who accused our country of some alleged state program to support doping abuse. Certainly, such a program never existed."

Zhukov recalled that Russia had always fought against doping abuse at all levels, starting with the president and the government. "On the other hand, the use of doping in various sports, including in Russia, in such sports as weightlifting and track and field athletics, has become more frequent recently. We see a large number of doping cases," he said.

"I believe this is also a clear signal to those in Russia who argue it is impossible to achieve success in high-performance sports without doping," Zhukov noted. "This is, certainly, not the case. All of our great sports history, both Soviet and Russian, proves that our clean athletes have always achieved success in major competitions, including the Olympic Games."

Zhukov added that during the Rio Olympics Russian athletes "had been checked more than anyone else," and athletes from Russia "who did not use any banned drugs achieved remarkable results."