08:58 GMT16 June 2021
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    Russia denies accusations that an alleged doping program in the country was controlled by the state, Russian Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov said Monday.

    LAUSANNE (Sputnik) — In July 2016, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), following an investigation by its Independent Commission led by Richard McLaren on the use of doping by Russian athletes, accused Russia of the existence of a state system to conceal anti-doping regulations' violations. The Russian side denies the accusations. The WADA later assessed the evidence against many of them as insufficient.

    "We are grateful to the authors of the report on doping in Russian sports, and I stress that Russia does not deny the existence of doping problems in the country. Recently, [President] Vladimir Putin said: we must listen to WADA requirements, because we have to admit — cases of doping use have been registered in our country, this is unacceptable, this confirms that the Russian anti-doping program failed," Kolobkov said at an annual WADA symposium.

    "But we deny the accusations that the doping program in Russia is controlled by the state, and in the second part of the report, McLaren himself withdrew these accusations," he said.

    There is no hard evidence of doping abuse by Russian athletes in the so-called McLaren report to bring cases against them and the sports community has admitted it, he added.

    "We are confident that the McLaren report is based on insufficient evidence, this opinion is shared by both international [sports] federations and the International Olympic Committee," Kolobkov said.

    He said there was not enough proof to bring cases against athletes and Russian officials who allegedly ran a widespread doping program. The Russian Sports Ministry is still preparing an assessment of the controversial report as well as helping two IOC committees in a separate assessment.


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    doping, sport, WADA, Pavel Kolobkov, Russia
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