News 8 June 2016

Russian Ministry of Sport responds to documentary allegations

On the day of the screening of the latest installment of the ARD television documentary series alleging widespread doping in Russia, the Russian Ministry of Sport has released a statement highlighting the controls it has put in place to combat these allegations since the filming of the documentary series.

‘A number of steps have been taken in order to completely rebuild the Russian anti-doping system,’ reads the statement. ‘We have agreed with the WADA [World Anti-Doping Agency] “road map”, in which Russian athletes’ test planning is fully engaged in the UK Anti-Doping Agency (UKAD), selected by WADA’s main partner RUSADA.’

In detailing the efforts already taken by Russian authorities to combat doping among Russian athletes, the Ministry emphasised that these steps were ‘fully supported by the state, aimed at ensuring the independence and transparency of the anti-doping control in Russia’.

The statement also announced that a new draft law criminalising the use of performance-enhancing drugs was ‘currently under consideration’ by its parliament.

According to a statement issued by the German broadcaster ARD/WDR, tonight’s documentary ‘The Secret World of Doping: Showdown for Russia’ will confirm ‘that the Russian government was directly involved in the cover-up of the state-controlled doping’. Russia’s Minister of Sport Vitaly Mutko is expected to specifically come under scrutiny with claims that he blocked the reporting of a doping offence by a top-flight footballer.

The news broadcaster further said that the Taskforce of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), which had been presented with the research results for this film had told ARD/WDR that the allegations against Mutko and Russia were a ‘very serious and urgent matter’ and represented a ‘serious concern’.

Tonight’s episode will be the fourth in a series produced by investigative journalists Hajo Seppelt, Florian Riese Wieck and Felix Becker in collaboration with ARD/WDR and is set to reveal previously unpublished documents.

The IAAF will host its Council Meeting in Vienna on 17 June, and will determine whether Russian athletes will be able to compete in this year’s Rio Olympics.

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