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Russia to pass law against doping abuse in sports by end of 2016

The Russian Olympic Committee chief believes that those encouraging doping abuse should face criminal charges

MOSCOW, September 8. /TASS/. President of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) Alexander Zhukov assures that the law on the fight against performing enhancing drugs in sports will be adopted by the end of 2016, ROC President Emeritus Vitaly Smirnov said on Thursday. 

"We believe that the responsibility for encouraging into doping abuse, especially young athletes, must be toughened up to the criminal responsibility," Smirnov said. "The bill was subjected to relevant amendments following its first reading in the State Duma and this issue will be a priority in the future."

"Zhukov has pledged that he would do his utmost for the law to be adopted this year," Smirnov added. 

Russia needs to start implementing IOC, WADA requirements

Russia must implement by December all requirements put forward by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), President Emeritus of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) Vitaly Smirnov said on Thursday.

"We need to implement all requirements set forward earlier on behalf of the IOC and WADA by December," Smirnov told journalists. "The Executive Committee holds a session in December and will decide whether to extend sanctions in regard to Russia."

The Independent Commission of WADA, chaired by Canadian law professor, Richard McLaren, released the now-infamous July 18 report on the results of a 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.

As a result, WADA suggested that 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 International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) decided to ban all Russian track and field athletes from the 2016 Olympics in Brazil, while the rest of the Russian athletes had to apply personal applications with the relevant international federations, which in turn decided whether to clear a particular athlete from Russia for 2016 Rio. Eventually, only 280 Russian athletes from the original list of 387 were allowed to travel to the Olympics in Brazil.

Last month, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) announced its decision to bar the entire Russian team from the 2016 Summer Paralympic Games, which kicked off in Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday.

On July 25, the ROC Executive Board approved the establishment of a public anti-doping commission. Smirnov, who is also 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 ROC could set up an independent public commission on the issues of fight against the abuse of performance enhancing drugs.