Russia promises WADA it will help eradicate doping, fight for fair sport
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's sports minister told the World Anti-Doping Agency chief on Wednesday that Moscow was fully committed to eradicating doping after Russian athletes were barred from the Rio Olympics, and he pledged full cooperation with WADA for fair sport.
"We are ready to work with you to build a transparent structure which makes it impossible to violate even in theory the international standards of WADA by the staff of (Russian anti-doping agency) RUSADA and the (Russian) Laboratory," Vitaly Mutko wrote to WADA President Sir Craig Reedie.
Mutko sent the letter ahead of a July 15 deadline for WADA to deliver a final report on its investigation into alleged widespread doping in Russian athletics.
On June 17, WADA endorsed the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) Council's decision to maintain a suspension of the All-Russian Athletics Federation (ARAF).
WADA cited sufficient evidence of "a mandatory state-directed manipulation of laboratory analytical results operating within the Moscow-accredited laboratory from at least 2011 forward including the period of the IAAF World Championships in 2013".
On July 2, the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) and 68 athletes filed appeals to the Swiss-based Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) against the IAAF ban and asked to be allowed to take part in international competition in time for the Olympics.
The three parties agreed an expedited procedure, with a final decision due by July 21, CAS has said.
ARAF on Tuesday named a track and field team for the Rio Olympics that includes gold medalists Yelena Isinbayeva and Ivan Ukhov among the 68 athletes involved in the appeals.
(Reporting by Dmitriy Rogovitskiy; Writing by Dmitry Solovyov; Editing by Mark Heinrich)
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