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WADA ditches probes in doping-abuse allegations against Russian fencers

"The justice has finally prevailed," the president of the Russian Fencing Federation said
Richard McLaren EPA/SVEN HOPPE
Richard McLaren

MOSCOW, June 9. /TASS/. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) dropped all of its investigations in regard to Russian fencers, who had been mentioned in the infamous report of the agency’s independent commission, the Russian Fencing Federation announced on Friday.

"The justice has finally prevailed," Alexander Mikhailov, the president of the Russian Fencing Federation, said in an interview with TASS. "The WADA made a decision to stop investigations in regard to our fencers and we are content with such outcome."

According to Part Two of the report, delivered in early December in London by the WADA Independent Commission and its chairman, Canadian sports law professor Richard McLaren, more than 1,000 Russian athletes competing in summer, winter and Paralympic sports could have been involved in an alleged manipulation scheme to conceal positive doping tests.

The report alleged that 27 Russian athletes from the national fencing team were also involved in doping-abuse schemes.

Part Two of McLaren’s report claimed in particular that doping samples of 12 Russian medalists of 2014 Winter Games in Sochi had been tampered with. In addition, doping tests of two more Russian athletes, who won four gold medals of the 2014 Sochi Olympics, had been falsified as well.

More than two years ago, the WADA Independent Commission, led by McLaren, carried out an investigation of the activities of RUSADA (the Russian Anti-Doping Agency), the All-Russia Athletics Federation (ARAF), the Moscow anti-doping laboratory and the Russian Sports Ministry, and announced the results of the probe on November 9, 2015. It was the first part of the now-infamous report on Russia’s doping abuse in sports.

The WADA 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 RUSADA was eventually suspended.

Starting in January 2016, control over anti-doping regulations in Russian sports has been exercised by RUSADA strictly under the supervision of the British anti-doping agency (UKAD).