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Russia to continue protecting its clean athletes

The Kremlin is ready to carry on with the consecutive fight against doping and the establishment of the relevant anti-doping system

MOSCOW, December 8. /TASS/. Russia will continue protecting its clean athletes against accusations of performance enhancing drugs abuse, but is also open to constructive criticism of the national anti-doping campaign, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday.

"The Kremlin is ready for the unconditional, consecutive and vigorous protection of the interests of our athletes, who have nothing to do with doping," Peskov said when asked what to expect from the Kremlin after the second part of the report prepared by the WADA Independent Commission, chaired by Canadian law professor Richard McLaren, on December 9.

"In line with the decisions made by President (Vladimir) Putin, the Kremlin is ready to carry on with the consecutive fight against doping and the establishment of the relevant anti-doping system," Peskov said. "In this regard the president pins great hopes on the work of Smirnov’s commission."

"The Kremlin is definitely ready to accept any detailed information regarding the allegations made in such documents," the Kremlin spokesman said. "Such information was not provided before and many accusations were of an abstract nature."

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Independent Commission, chaired by Canadian law professor, Richard McLaren, released a report on July 18 on the results of its probe into the accusations of doping and manipulation of tests by Russian athletes and officials at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games.

According to the details, the commission claimed it had found evidence that Russia’s Sports Ministry and the Center for the Training of Russian National Teams and the Federal Security Service had covered up a doping program in Russian sports.

The report from WADA’s Commission stated in particular that the commission’s investigation registered a total of 643 cases of Disappearing Positive Test Results in Russia between 2012 and 2015 involving athletes from 30 sports.

Following the commission’s report, WADA recommended the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and all international sports federations ban Russian athletes from all international sports competitions, including Rio 2016.

The Russian Olympic Committee’s (ROC) Executive Board approved in late July the establishment of the Independent Public Anti-Doping Commission (IPADC). Vitaly Smirnov, who is an International Olympic Committee’s (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 ROC could set up an independent public commission on the issues of fight against the abuse of performance enhancing drugs. The presidential proposal came following an array of sanctions against the Russian sports on accusations of doping abuse.