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June 03, 2020

Do not flinch in the face of adversity

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June 03, 2020

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June 02, 2020

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May 28, 2020

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May 26, 2020

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There is a "determination" within the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to deal with the allegations of systematic doping among Russian athletes, it was claimed here today.

But "due process" must be followed, critics calling for action be taken against Russia were warned.

A German television documentary broadcast on Wednesday (December 3) made a number of allegations that Russian officials systematically accepted payment from athletes to supply banned substances and cover up tests.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has responded by promising to investigate the claims, along with the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), who had already referred a number of the allegations to its independent Ethics Commission.

Sir Craig Reedie, the chairman of WADA and a member of the IOC's ruling Executive Board, updated his colleagues today on the situation.

"It won't surprise you to know the allegations were, of course, discussed by the Executive Board," Mark Adams, the IOC communications director, said.

"There was a determination to deal with them and deal with them quickly.

"Sir Craig Reedie made a short presentation to the Executive Board.

"He has been in touch with the IAAF Ethics Commission and has given them the information they need, and we will keep in touch as well.

"If the allegations are proved, we will deal with them, but we have to deal with them in the proper way.

"There has to be due process.

"So let's wait and see what the Commission of the IAAF thinks of them before we take the next step."

Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko has dismissed the allegations made in the 60 minute programme broadcast by ARD as being aimed at humiliating Russian sport.

"Based on some individual case, they want to show some kind of system and the state's interest in it, to belittle Russian sport," Mutko told R-Sport news agency.

"Of course I don't like this, because we have taken a journey in the opposite direction."

Russia's anti-doping agency RUSADA managing director Nikita Kamaev, who originally dismissed the claims as "nothing more than wanton speculation", has now promised they will launch their own inquiry.

"RUSADA is starting its own investigation in relation to those involved in the film and the information presented by them," they said in a statement published today.

They promised the outcome of the investigation will be published on their website.

In the programme, ARD appeared to show reigning Olympic 800 metres champion Maria Savinova admitting to using the banned steroid oxandrolone.

They also produced evidence that alleged to show three-time Chicago Marathon and one-time London Marathon winner Liliya Shobukhova paid €450,000 (£350,000/$550,000) to avoid a doping ban.

Shobukhova was eventually banned for doping and she claimed some of the money was refunded.

Sebastian Coe, meanwhile, who last month officially announced he is to stand for the Presidency of the IAAF has issued his own statement on the allegations.

"There are clearly very serious allegations and I understand that they are now rightly subject to investigation by the IAAF, WADA and the IAAF Ethics Commission," he said.

"It would be inappropriate to comment further until those investigations have been completed."

Among those implicated in the programme was Valentin Balakhnichev, President of the Russian Athletics Federation and treasurer of the IAAF.

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