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Russia's athletics boss dismisses doping allegations

Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - 00:50

The Head of the Russian Athletics Federation denies allegations of widespread doping among Russian athletes and says he hopes athletes won't be banned from the Olympic Games or the World Cup. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: Acting President of the Russian Athletics Federation (ARAF), Vadim Zelichenok, rejected the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) accusations of doping violations on Tuesday (November 11) and expressed hope that Russian athletes would participate in the upcoming Olympic games and the World Cup. Russia could be banned from international athletics, including the 2016 Olympic Games, after an anti-doping commission report on Monday alleged widespread corruption and collusion that added up to a state-sponsored drugs culture in a sporting superpower. Zelichenok dismissed the commission's accusations and said the ban if introduced would also punish athletes who have never used doping. The commission, set up by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), found a "deeply rooted culture of cheating" in Russian athletics, which it said Russian state security services colluded with, and also identified what it called systemic failures in the global governing body, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). Zelichenok dismissed some of the report's conclusions and said that "relatively recent data" in the document contained "very few facts." He said holding him responsible for doping violations equals to blaming IAAF President Sebastian Coe for corruption in the organisation in the time he was vice president. Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said there was no evidence to support the accusations against the Russian Athletics Federation, and that the samples had been destroyed at WADA's request. IAAF President Sebastian Coe said he was alarmed and surprised by the scale of the revelations, which come days after the IAAF's long-time president, Lamine Diack, was accused by the IAAF of concealing a Russian athlete's doping violations. But Zelichenok accused the report authors of bias and expressed hope that its release would not affect the athletes' spirit. A decision to suspend Russia could be taken only by the IAAF. The international police body Interpol said it would coordinate a global investigation into suspected corruption and doping in athletics. The commission said in its report that the London Olympics in 2012 had in effect been "sabotaged" by the widespread inaction of national anti-doping authorities and the sport's governing body. Russia finished second behind the United States in athletics at the 2012 Olympics, with 17 medals, eight of them gold, and has long been one of the chief players in track and field.

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Russia's athletics boss dismisses doping allegations

Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - 00:50