Russia dismisses German TV doping claim

Russia’s anti-doping agency RUSADA told AFP on Thursday that they will wait for official censure from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) before investigating accusations made in a German television documentary.

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A 60-minute documentary called ‘Secret Doping Dossier: How Russia produces its Winners’, aired by German state broadcaster ARD on Wednesday, made serious allegations of doping in Russian athletics, pointing the finger at Russian Athletics Federation president and IAAF treasurer Valentin Balakhnichev amongst others.

However, RUSADA managing director Nikita Kamaev told AFP: “We have no real documents confirming these accusations.

“As long as there is no official request from the World Anti-Doping Agency into this matter, we consider this to be nothing more than wanton speculation.”

Russian sports minister Vitaly Mutko reacted angrily to the claims which he said were 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. Of course I don’t like this, because we have taken a journey in the opposite direction,” Mutko told R-Sport news agency, arguing that Russia has cleaned up its doping record.

The documentary featured hard-hitting accusations by 800m runner Iuliia Stepanova, who is banned until January for a doping violation, and her husband Vitali Stepanov, who worked for RUSADA between 2008 and 2011.

In a statement published on their website, WADA promised to “ensure that all matters raised are fully investigated.”

The statement added: “WADA has in fact already received some information and evidence of the type exposed in the documentary. All of that information has been passed to the appropriate independent body within the international federation, the IAAF. We will await the outcome of that independent body’s deliberations.

“Insofar as the particular allegations against Russian authorities and others are concerned, these will all be carefully scrutinised and if action is warranted, WADA will take any necessary and appropriate steps under the (World Anti-Doping) Code.”

The International Athletics Federation also released a statement, saying: “An investigation by the IAAF Ethics Commission is already ongoing with respect to some of the allegations made in the documentary.

“With regard to matters revealed in the documentary related to anti-doping and, therefore outside the scope of the Ethics Commission, these will be studied carefully and dealt with according to the relevant IAAF rules and in full co-operation with WADA.”

The International Olympic Committee released a statement saying they had been in contact with the IAAF and is ready to act if necessary.

“These are very serious allegations and the IOC will not hesitate to take all necessary steps,” said the statement.

“The IOC Ethics Commission has asked to be kept fully informed of any issues that could fall under its jurisdiction and for which future action may be necessary.”

The Russian Athletics Federation will make an “official statement” on the matter in due course, after a meeting to discuss “the scandal”, vice-president Vadim Zelitchenok told the Itar-Tass agency.