23rd September 2021

Joint statement by Michael Petrou* of the Council of Europe and Oleg Matytsin*, Minister of Sport

The monitoring group of the Council of Europe Convention against Doping in Sport arrived in Moscow on September 21, 2021 at the invitation of the Ministry of Sports of the Russian Federation to assess the current situation and future plans to combat doping in sport in Russia. The experts included representatives of government agencies and national anti-doping organizations of Austria, Cyprus, Poland, Finland and the anti-doping laboratory from Norway, as well as representatives of the Secretariat of the Council of Europe.

During a three-day visit, the Monitoring Group met with the Minister of Sports of the Russian Federation Oleg Matytsin, representatives of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation, the Federal Medical and Biological Agency, RUSADA and its founders, the National Sports Arbitration Center, the Olympic and Paralympic Committees, the Russian International Olympic University, sports federations, anti-doping coordinators of the All-Russian Athletics Federation and the Russian Biathlon Union and athletes. In addition, the delegation of the Council of Europe visited the Moscow Anti-Doping Laboratory.

Taking into account the importance of international cooperation in the interests of clean sports, in April 2021 the Ministry of Sports of the Russian Federation invited representatives of the Council of Europe to visit the country to see the changes in the fight against doping in sports in Russia in recent years. The visit of the delegation is especially symbolic in the year of the 25th anniversary of the accession of the Russian Federation to the Council of Europe.

“The purpose of any assessment visit is to improve the fight against doping in sport. The findings of the visit will serve as the basis for recommendations to the Russian authorities on specific areas to improve the effectiveness of the fight against doping. The delegation held an open and constructive dialogue with all stakeholders and notes the strong commitment of the Minister of Sports of the Russian Federation Oleg Matytsin to create a reliable anti-doping system in sports at all levels in the country,” said the head of the delegation, Michael Petrou.

The Russian Federation, as a state party to the Anti-Doping Convention of the Council of Europe, attaches great importance to the implementation of its provisions. The member states of the Convention plan to approve the final report of the Monitoring Group, which will be presented at the next meeting (December 13-14, 2021). The report will contain conclusions and recommendations for the country.

“The Russian Federation will continue to improve the anti-doping system, taking into account the implementation of the CAS decision, so that Russian athletes can participate on an equal footing in all sports competitions. The Ministry will continue to provide the necessary assistance to the Russian Anti-Doping Agency in the recovery process,” said the Minister of Sports of the Russian Federation Oleg Matytsin.

• This media release was published by the press service of the Russian Ministry of Sports on 23 September 2021. Click here for the original.

* Petrou is Chairman of the Monitoring Group from the Council of Europe assessing Russia’s compliance with the Council of Europe’s 1989 Anti-Doping Convention. Matytsin is Minister of Sport for the Russian Federation.

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