Doping system imposed on Russia is not effective: Zhukov

Wed Nov 9, 2016 7:11am EST
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By Karolos Grohmann

BERLIN (Reuters) - The drugs testing system imposed on Russia following revelations of widespread doping is inefficient and the country must be part of the decision-making process to battle the problem, Russia's outgoing Olympic Committee (ROC) chief has said.

Alexander Zhukov said in a speech released on Wednesday that while doping was a problem in Russia there was no such thing as a state-backed doping system, which the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) said it had uncovered in the country.

"There is no state-supported doping program in sport in Russia and it has never existed," Zhukov told the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in Lausanne.

The WADA-commissioned reports, including one by Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren, revealed widespread state-sponsored doping in Russian sport.

WADA also alleged that Russian testers had helped local athletes at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics by changing drugs-tainted samples for clean ones with the aid of the secret service to give their competitors an advantage.

The results triggered a ban on all but one Russian track and field athlete at the Rio de Janeiro Games in August and widespread calls for a blanket ban on all athletes until the country could prove it had a clean drug-testing system.

Zhukov said Russia needed a stronger presence within WADA and that the suspended anti-doping authority RUSADA had to be in charge of testing again.

WADA wanted a blanket ban on Russian athletes in Rio but the IOC allowed more than 270 Russians to compete at the Games.   Continued...

Russian Olympic Committee head Alexander Zhukov addresses journalists after an extraordinary meeting on issues, connected with Russian athletics team and federation, and held by the executive committee of the Russian Olympic Committee in Moscow, Russia, November 18, 2015. REUTERS/Maxim Zmeyev