16:05 GMT22 January 2021
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    Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko on Monday ruled out non-participation of the national team in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

    ST. PETERSBURG (Sputnik) — On January 1, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) banned an anti-ischemic medication, meldonium. Soon after the WADA's move, a number of Russian top athletes, including tennis star Maria Sharapova, swimmer Yulia Efimova, figure skater Ekaterina Bobrova and biathlonist Eduard Latypov among others failed a drug test for meldonium.

    "No, it is nonsense. No one raises a question in this way and no one will put it in such a manner," Mutko told R-Sport, answering a question about possible non-participation of Russia's national team in the upcoming Olympics amid doping scandal.

    In November 2015, the WADA Independent Commission issued a report accusing Russia of numerous breaches of global anti-doping regulations and recommended the country be banned from international athletics competitions. Subsequently, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) temporary suspended the Russian Athletic Federation's membership of the association.

    The Russian authorities have promised to carry out a clean-up program to fulfil the WADA demands in order for country's athletes to be allowed to participate in the 2016 Olympics.

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    Tags:
    meldonium, Olympics, WADA, Vitaly Mutko, Russia
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