Russia will accept retesting of athletes' samples

Russia's DPM Vitaly Mutko says the country will accept an International Olympic Committee plan to retest all drug test samples given by its athletes at the 2012 and 2014 Olympics.
Russia's DPM Vitaly Mutko says the country will accept an International Olympic Committee plan to retest all drug test samples given by its athletes at the 2012 and 2014 Olympics.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON • Vitaly Mutko, Russia's Deputy Prime Minister, says the country will accept an International Olympic Committee (IOC) plan to retest all drug test samples given by its athletes at the 2012 and 2014 Olympics.

"The IOC has now decided to retest all the samples; let them retest," Mr Mutko, who was sports minister at the time of the 2012 and 2014 Games, told the Russian state news agency R-Sport.

The IOC's declaration on Friday followed the second and final part of an independent commission report by the World Anti-Doping Agency investigator Richard McLaren. It said that more than 1,000 Russian athletes, including medal winners at the Summer Games in London and the Winter Olympics in Sochi, had benefited from a state-backed campaign of doping and drug-test cover-ups.

Mr Mutko, whose brief as Deputy PM covers sports policy, also suggested that he does not expect Russia to be barred from the 2018 Winter Games in PyeongChang.

He said the IOC set a precedent when it decided against a blanket ban for Russia from this summer's Olympics in Rio.

"The IOC has chosen its direction, that there should be no collective responsibility in this situation," he said.

 

If a specific athlete is found to have committed an offence, "then let's punish him," he added, rather than excluding the whole Russian team.

He repeated the Russian government's claim that it has never given state support to doping.

But he did not address allegations in McLaren's report that he directed so-called washout testing - unofficial internal tests before major competitions to ensure banned substances would not be detectable when doped athletes later gave samples at the event.

Meanwhile, Asian Games champion Chen Xinyi of China has been banned for two years by Fina, the sport's governing body, for failing a drug test at the Rio Games.

The 18-year-old, who finished fourth in the women's 100m fly in Brazil, tested positive for hydrochlorothiazide - an illicit masking agent - and accepted a provisional ban at the time.

THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 12, 2016, with the headline 'Russia will accept retesting of athletes' samples'. Print Edition | Subscribe