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Moscow Regrets Growing Attempts to Use Sports As Tool of Exerting Pressure

© Sputnik / Anton Denisov / Go to the photo bankRussia’s national team’s flag-bearer Alexander Zubkov during the parade of athletes and members of national delegations at the opening ceremony of the XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi. (File)
Russia’s national team’s flag-bearer Alexander Zubkov during the parade of athletes and members of national delegations at the opening ceremony of the XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi. (File) - Sputnik International
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Moscow has commented on the WADA board decision not to reinstate the Russian National Anti-Doping Agency, while Russian athletes are waiting for information whether they would be allowed to participate in the 2018 Olympic Games.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The Russian Foreign Ministry has expressed regret over efforts to use sports for political purposes "as a tool of exerting pressure and ensuring opportunistic interests" after World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) President Craig Reedie's remarks on the impossibility of sports' independence from politics.

"We believe that sports is an autonomous area of people's life that must be separated from the political agenda," the ministry's statement said.

According to Moscow, the principle of sports' independence from politics was anchored in the Olympic Charter and the UN General Assembly's resolution called Sport as a Means to Promote Education, Health, Development and Peace (A/RES/71/160).

READ MORE: Russian Anti-Doping Agency 90% Reinstated — WADA President

The statement comes after Reedie told the R-Sport news agency that he could not imagine sports without politics, calling this formula a sort of impossible dream.

WADA Declares Russian Anti-Doping Agency Non-Compliant

The entrance of National anti-doping agency, RUSADA in Moscow, Russia (File) - Sputnik International
WADA Foundation Board Declares RUSADA Non-Compliant With Anti-Doping Code
His remarks followed WADA’s Foundation Board's decision to approve the recommendation by the Independent Compliance Review Committee to declare the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) non-compliant with the anti-doping code, however, Reedie noted that RUSADA has been "90 percent" reinstated.

At the same time, the International Olympic Committee said Thursday it was aware of WADA's decision not to reinstate RUSADA, adding that all factors would be taken into account in taking a decision whether Russian athletes would be allowed to take part in the 2018 Olympics.

The WADA links the reinstatement of RUSADA's status with the unconditional recognition of the report on anti-doping violations in Russia by Richard McLaren, the head of WADA's independent commission, which alleged the existence of a state-supported doping system. However, President Vladimir Putin and Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov have strongly denied these accusations, while admitting that Russian sports did have some doping-related issues.

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