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Russia and WADA

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Russia is still obstructing drug testing operations and refusing to acknowledge that it ran a state-sponsored doping system, the World Anti-Doping Agency has revealed, reported Sky News.

At a Foundation Board meeting in Glasgow, WADA revealed that anti-doping officials are still being denied access to Russian "closed cities" - military facilities where many athletes train.
They also said federal authorities have denied investigators access to samples collected by the discredited Moscow laboratory, and that Russian hackers continue to conduct cyber-attacks on WADA and other organisations.

Earlier this year an independent investigation led by Canadian lawyer Professor Richard McLaren exposed a state-supported system in Russia that corrupted the Sochi 2014 Olympics.
WADA announced on Sunday that the second part of his report, expected to include details of athletes involved, will be published on 9 December.
Although WADA recommended all Russian athletes be banned from the Rio Olympics, the International Olympic Committee allowed individual sports federations to decide which competitors to admit.

The issue has caused huge tensions, with athletes' representatives expressing concern.
Senior WADA figures warned that Russia will not regain the trust of the international sports community unless it acknowledges its failings, but Vladimir Putin's senior anti-doping official denied it had a problem.
"Russia has never had a state-sponsored system of doping," Vitaly Smirnov said.
Asked by Sky News why he would not accept WADA's findings, he replied: "If one person is a criminal it does not mean the whole country is."

Dick Pound, a former WADA President, said Russia had to accept what it has done wrong.
"It is like dealing with an alcoholic - you can't cure him or her until there is an acknowledgement that a problem exists and that is what they have got to do.
In response to the Russian crisis, WADA agreed a number of measures to help strengthen the battle against cheats.

They approved a new code to deal with whistleblowers, including offering financial incentives and promises of legal protection and anonymity.
They will also begin work on new sanctions to punish sports and anti-doping organisations that fail to comply with the WADA code.
These could include countries being banned from hosting major events including the Olympics, and athletes being banned.
This may be a source of tension with the Olympic movement after the IOC decided to ignore WADA's recommendation in the summer.

Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko said on Sunday he is negative about the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) seeking to impose its terms on international federations, reported TASS News Agency.
On Sunday, the WADA board of founders met in Scotland’s Glasgow to discuss an initiative to vest the agency with the authority to ban countries from hosting international tournaments, including Olympic Games and world championships, for gross violations of the anti-doping code
"I am negative about WADA’s attempt to create a transnational company, to position itself above the International Olympic Committee, above the international sports movement," Mutko told TASS. "I believe the role of international sports federations should be enhanced as they are responsible for the development of this of that sports discipline and know all the athletes. They should have their voice."

According to Mutko, who until recently was Russia’s minister of sport, WADA’s authority is to be confined to fighting against violations of anti-doping rules. "Naturally, we look upon it from our side but, generally speaking, WADA’s idea is clear - there should be some efficient and unbiased organization responsible for decision making but only on what concerns anti-doping efforts: they will be able to make decision on violations of anti-doping rules - A and B samples, punishments," he said.
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.
The commission’s report led to the partial ban of the country’s national Olympians from the 2016 Summer Games and the suspension of the entire Paralympic team from the 2016 Paralympics in Brazil.

Head of the Independent Public Anti-Doping Commission Vitaly Smirnov has asked the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) for an expert, who could structure work of the Moscow anti-doping laboratory.
The Russian official said, staff of the Moscow laboratory, having all modern equipment, is highly qualified. Two independent foreign experts are working at the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA), he added.
"We appreciate WADA’s assistance in inviting these specialists," he said in a report on reform of the Russian anti-doping system during WADA’s Executive Committee Meeting on Sunday. "Now, one fridge remained sealed there by the Investigative Committee, but I have a feeling this problem would be settled soon."
"As soon as it happens, we would like the lab to begin working immediately, and here we are addressing WADA for assistance in inviting a foreign specialists, we need, who has skills to structure it work; we are ready for absolute transparency and control over the laboratory in Moscow.".

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Tags: russia, doping, WADA
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