Putin admitted fault of State in anti-doping system failure in Russia

Putin admitted fault of State in anti-doping system failure in Russia
Ex-Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko and Russian President Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin has admitted that the Russian anti-doping system had failed, and urged Russian officials to consider the results of the investigation of Richard McLaren’s independent commission, despite the failures in its work.

According to RIA Novosti, President of Russia Vladimir Putin said that is necessary to recognize that the Russian system for anti-doping control did not work. The Russian President made a corresponding statement during a meeting on the preparation of the Krasnoyarsk World Winter Universiade 2019.

“The existing system for anti-doping control in Russia did not work; and we are to blame; we need to put it bluntly, and admit it,” Putin said, adding that it is also necessary to adhere to WADA requirements, “despite the failures in the independent commission’s work.”

Putin also said that it is necessary to recognize that there are ‘reported cases’ of doping use in Russia, but stressed that there no government support of doping system “has ever been, and hopefully never will be in Russia.”

Putin noted that “the claims we get regarding some samples showing some scratches, and we don’t have an idea what kind of evidence it is, because the samples we had provided did not give rise to any claims.” According to him, such claims should have been registered in “corresponding protocols”, however, no such action has been taken. “It means that they [samples] were stored somewhere, and we are not responsible for that storage,” he stressed.

Putin also said that a new anti-doping system will be created in Russia, which will be transferred from the Ministry of Sport and the government “to an independent organization.” According to him, the independent anti-doping laboratory will be located on one of the sites of Moscow State University. “We will assist in equipping it with modern technology, facilities, and personnel,” the president promised.

McLaren’s report, dedicated to the use of doping by Russian sportsmen, was published in two parts – in summer and winter 2016. The second part, presented by McLaren on December 9, 2016, in particular, provides information on the ‘institutional conspiracy’ of the authorities and the involvement of former Head of the Ministry of Sport Vitaly Mutko and his ex-deputy Yury Nagornykh in the manipulation of doping samples of Russians.

The Ministry of Sport of the Russian Federation has denied the availability of a state program for doping support, and assured that they are fighting against the use of doping by athletes in accordance with UNESCO’s requirements.

Commenting on the report, Mutko said that McClaren’s Commission accuses Russia of committing actions that “just aren't possible.”

As a result of this investigation, the entire Russian national team in athletics (except for long jumper Darya Klishina) was forced to miss the Olympic Games in Rio. Moreover, Russia was deprived of the right to host Bobsleigh and Skeleton World Championship in 2017.

In late February 2017, the International Olympic Committee published an open letter, in which it indicated that a number of international sports federations had questions regarding the interpretation of certain provisions of the report.

“WADA has recognized that, in many cases, there is not enough evidence to fully investigate the doping cases,” the letter said.

The World Anti-Doping Agency said that the lack of sufficient evidence in the report of Head of Independent Commission Richard McLaren regarding Russian athletes’ use of banned substances is due to destruction of the samples in the Moscow laboratory.

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