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McLaren report’s allegations to be taken to legal courts — former Sports Minister Mutko

Vitaly Mutko stresses Russian athletes were never part of the alleged disappearing result scheme

MOSCOW, December 9. /TASS/. Accusations voiced in the report of WADA Independent Commission and its chairman Richard McLaren in regard to the allegedly widespread doping abuse and manipulations in Russian sports should be taken to legal courts, Russian Deputy Prime Minister and former Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko told TASS on Friday.

"We now need to calmly move taking the issue to a court and this is what we will do," Mutko said. "It will be up to the International Olympic Committee to do the verifying job."

The commission has accused Russia of doing what is principally impossible to do, Mutko said. "In Sochi, it was simply impossible to do what we are being accused of. And our athletes were never part of the alleged disappearing result scheme. Eighty percent of them were in the permanent doping testing pool," he said.

"The second part of the report is over to reveal more evidence to what was said in the first part, concerning the alleged state policy and a plot against global sports. Notably, accusations are voiced solely against Russia," he added.

He stressed that allegations about any collusions or state support to doping must rest on really convincing grounds. "I have repeatedly said that for more than a year our sport has been controlled by the British anti-doping agency and international sports organizations. And they have found no collusion. If there was any it was on the part of the laboratory director," Mutko said.

A special focus in the McLaren report was made on the performance of Russian athletes at the 2014 Olympic Games in Russia’s Sochi. The second part of the report claims that samples of 12 Russian medal winners were doping-positive but were replaced under the control of the state and with the help of the Federal Security Service. In response to these accusations, Mutko noted that Russian athletes had travelled a long way to their medals.

"We believe in our team, in our athletes who performed in Sochi. The Games were held by international sports federations ― everything was controlled by WADA and the International Olympic Committee. Should there be any such cases they will be investigated. But really serious grounds are needed to advance accusations of collusion or a state doping support program," he stressed.

"We don’t need any fake victories. We want our athletes to take the highest places. It is not our fault if someone performed in Sochi worse than he or she could. Neither of our victories was a surprise ― our champions had traveled a long way to their medals," he added.