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Russian ministry denies WADA accusations

dpa logodpa 9/12/2016

"There has never been an organised system in Russia for the falsification (of doping samples)," said independent anti-doping commission head Vitaly Smirnov.

Russia's sports ministry called on the nation's sports authorities to look into the latest allegations of systemic state-controlled doping amid calls Friday for a complete international sporting ban on the country.

The ministry "advises authorities concerned to investigate incidents mentioned in (the) second part of (the) McLaren report," the TASS news agency reported.

The Russian Olympic Committee and the independent anti-doping commission IPADC has begun studying the report, the committee's president Alexander Zhukov told TASS.

"The documents need to be studied in detail," Zhukov said.

However, IPADC head Vitaly Smirnov said Russian authorities neither supported nor organised a system to cover up doping.

"Despite the presented accusations I would like to point out that there has never been an organised system in Russia for the falsification (of doping samples)," Smirnov told journalists.

Two-time Olympic champion pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva, now head of the supervisory board of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA), meanwhile said the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) needed to provide definitive proof of widespread doping among Russian athletes.

Following the latest report into doping by Russia, WADA said details of athletes implicated would be passed on to the relevant authorities.

International federations, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Paralympic Committee will then be "responsible for reviewing the evidence available for each case," WADA said.

There was no immediate response from the IOC to the second part of the report on doping compiled by WADA's independent investigator, the Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren.

Germany's athletics federation chief Clemens Prokop was among sports officials who called for Russia to be excluded from all international championships.

"The only conclusion is that the Russian sport is excluded from all international championships and Olympic Games until there is a credible change in the situation," he said.

Michael Vesper, the chairman of the German Olympics sports association DOSB, urged a full inquiry and said a Russian ban for the 2018 Winter Olympics could not be ruled out.

The IAAF said more than half the track and field athletes identified by McLaren and his team had already been sanctioned or were undergoing disciplinary proceedings.

"We will follow up on the rest as soon as the evidence from the IP's (independent person McLaren) investigation is made available to us via WADA," a statement said.

WADA president Craig Reedie said his organisation was "grateful to Richard McLaren and his team for this long and arduous effort that reconfirms institutionalised manipulation and cover-up of the doping control process in Russia."

Isinbayeva meanwhile appeared sceptical of claims made by McLaren in his report.

"Of course it's easy to lump the guilty and the innocent into one mass," TASS quoted her as saying.

"I doubt that if we ask them (WADA) to present concrete proof of guilt, they will be able to do so."

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