In a stunning reversal, Richard McLaren, the head of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) independent commission, has dropped his charges of alleged participation of the state in the Russian doping scandal.
It is worth noting here that Thomas Bach, the president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and a friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin, had invited WADA President and McLaren for talks on allegations on doping abuse in Russian sports. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko has been on a justifying and clearing stance for years claiming everything has been done and Russia will soon be back to events. Recently, Mutko said the All-Russia Athletics Federation keeps working and we will be doing everything to make sure that its membership is reinstated as soon as possible.
With this development, Russia is now likely to be reinstated soon to international competitions. The All-Russia Athletics Federation (ARAF) could now be free from the extended suspension imposed on it by the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF). The work of the Moscow anti-doping laboratory and the Russian Anti-Doping Agency are also likely to be restored now.
Previously, an investigation of the activities of RUSADA (Russian Anti-Doping Agency), the All-Russia Athletics Federation (ARAF), the Moscow anti-doping laboratory, and the Russian Sports Ministry had revealed the involvement of certain athletes and sports officials of doping abuse and in other activities related to violations of international regulations on performance enhancing substances.
Russian Independent Anti-Doping Commission chief Vitaly Smirnov announced this news that was welcomed by the Russian President's Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov. The President's Press Secretary one can only welcome it if this report on the dropping of accusations by McLaren is true. Peskov added we strongly denied from the very beginning even the hypothetic possibility and of course one can only express satisfaction if this is really so.
Smirnov, the head of the Russian Independent Public Anti-Doping Commission (IPADC), said our first contact with WADA President Craig Reedie took place as soon as our commission was established and it was in early August during the 2016 Olympic Games. Smirnov also remarked we never spoke about McLaren at that time and added our task at that time was to make the Russian anti-doping agency independent with the independent sources of financing but later new requirements followed.
The head of the Russian Independent Public Anti-Doping Commission added it turned out as the situation kept developing that not everything was clear in the McLaren report. Smirnov added we met McLaren in Zurich and this is where he acknowledged the fact that he drops his accusations regarding the alleged government’s involvement in the process. The IPADC head said McLaren in other words is acknowledging his mistakes and is now correcting them.
In July 2016, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) accused Russia of the existence of a state system to conceal anti-doping violations following an investigation by its Independent Commission led by Richard McLaren on the use of doping by Russian athletes. The Russian government and officials denied the charges and the World Anti-Doping Agency later assessed the evidence against many of them as insufficient.
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