December 12, 2017
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Craig Reedie, President of the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) speaks after a news conference in Seoul November 16, 2017. — Reuters picCraig Reedie, President of the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) speaks after a news conference in Seoul November 16, 2017. — Reuters picMOSCOW, Nov 16 — The Kremlin today called the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (Wada) decision to maintain its suspension of Russia “unfair”.

“This is unpleasant news,” Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists.

“We do not agree with this decision, we believe it to be unfair. We denounced and continue to denounce accusations that cases of doping had some kind of state support,” Peskov said.

“We are preparing for the Olympic Games,” he added. 

Wada’s decision, taken today in Seoul, raised the spectre of a possible ban of the Russian team from February’s Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.

The International Olympic Committee is expected to decide whether Russia can compete in Pyeongchang at an executive board meeting next month in Lausanne. 

Russia was declared “non-compliant” by Wada following a report by Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren alleged institutionalised doping culminating at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Russia’s secret service and sports ministry were accused of orchestrating an elaborate plot that included using a “mousehole” to switch dirty samples at the doping laboratory at the Black Sea resort.

Wada has told Russia to “publicly accept” the report’s findings and allow access to urine samples at its Moscow anti-doping laboratory. 

Today’s suspension was widely expected to be upheld after Russia refused to admit running a state-sponsored doping system.

Following Wada’s ruling, the new head of Russia’s anti-doping agency Rusada said today his organisation would continue “the huge amount” of work it has done in recent months. 

“Rusada meets all the principles of independence and transparency, and a huge amount of work has been done in recent months,” Yury Ganus, Rusada’s director, told reporters in Moscow. — AFP



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