Russian sports minister suggests putting WADA in charge of national anti-doping organizations

Olympic Rings Lit at Night, adapted from image at state.gov

MOSCOW. April 2 (Interfax) – Russian anti-doping organizations could become branches of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), which in that case would be responsible for their work, Russian Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov said. “WADA is monitoring the work of all national anti-doping organizations and laboratories, and responsibility is borne by the states where these structures are located. The consequences of […]

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Interfax: Global anti-doping system reform needed, IOC president resignation not on agenda – Duma committee head

Russian State Duma Building file photo

MOSCOW. Feb 9 (Interfax) – There needs to be a reform of the global anti-doping system after the Olympic Games, but Russia has no direct influence on the composition of the leadership of international sports organizations, and the issue of International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach’s resignation is not being raised now, Chairman of the State Duma Committee on […]

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Russian Olympians’ Last Ditch Appeals to Compete in the Winter Games, Explained

Olympic Rings Lit at Night, adapted from image at state.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – February 8, 2018) Although Russia has long been a powerhouse in the Winter Olympics, its flag, anthem and tricolor will be absent from the games kicking off tomorrow in South Korea. After a blanket ban of the Russian Olympic team in December by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) over doping allegations, individual athletes have still […]

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Interfax: Putin warns against further politicization of global sports

Medical Symbol with Pole, Serpents, Wings, adapted from image at lanl.gov

NOVO-OGARYOVO. Jan 31 (Interfax) – Russia hopes that international sports organizations will not turn into government departments in certain countries however powerful these might seem sometimes, President Vladimir Putin said. “Of course, we very much feel for our athletes who could not go to the Olympic Games. We will do everything to support them,” Putin said at a meeting with […]

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Russia’s Channel One Will Broadcast Olympics, Despite Team’s Ban

Olympic Rings Lit at Night, adapted from image at state.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – December 12, 2017) Russia’s state-run Channel One television channel has announced that it will broadcast the 2018 Winter Game’s despite the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) decision last week to bar Russia’s team from competing. The IOC decision said that individual Russian athletes could participate in the Olympics in February if they proved to a panel […]

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What do Regular Russians Think of the IOC’s Olympic Doping Ban?

Olympic Rings Lit at Night, adapted from image at state.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – December 6, 2017) “This is undoubtedly a political decision,” says Igor, 40. In Moscow, news that Russia’s entire Olympic team had been barred from next year’s Winter Games was still sinking in on Wednesday afternoon. In the latest chapter of the Russian doping scandal, the International Olympic Committee’s President Thomas Bach on Tuesday evening announced […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russian answer to opioid epidemic: ‘Cold turkey’; Russia has an opioid abuse problem as big as America’s, but a very different way of dealing with it. No methadone replacement therapy in Moscow – just a couple of aspirin and a short, sharp withdrawal shock.” – Christian Science Monitor/ Fred Weir

Blurred Image of Young Woman Holding Up Pill Between Her Thumb and Index Finger, adapted from image at drugabuse.gov

“Russia has an opioid addiction crisis about as grave as America’s. … the two countries’ approaches to the problem could hardly be more different. … most US and European clinics offer patients methadone as replacement therapy [yet] Russian doctors disdain such ‘soft’ treatment. … their [cold turkey] methods … have a lower success rate than the 50 percent achieved in the United States. … […]

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Interfax: Tragic events associated with informers in Russia, this institution must not migrate from sports to other spheres – Putin

Olympic Rings Lit at Night, adapted from image at state.gov

KRASNODAR. May 23 (Interfax) – Russian President Vladimir Putin has called for treating the idea of introducing an institution of informers into Russian sports with extreme caution, recalling that tragic events are associated with this phenomenon in the Russian history. Speaking at the presidential council on physical training and sports on Tuesday, Putin warned against this institution the creation which […]

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Kicking habits, kicking back; In Russia, a punitive Soviet approach to drug users is still in place. But a new generation of activists is ready to challenge it.

Russian Drug Den File Photo

(opendemocracy.net – Dmitry Lebedev – February 20, 2017) Dmitry Lebedev is a freelance journalist from Moscow. He holds a Master’s research degree in political philosophy from Radboud University, Nijmegen, Netherlands. When Russian media report an increase or decrease in drug addiction in the country, they are usually only reflecting the number of users officially registered at state clinics. The practice […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russia Hopes for Swift End to Track and Field Doping Exile” – AP

Olympic Rings Lit at Night, adapted from image at state.gov

“… Russian track and field exists in limbo, banned since November 2015 as a series of investigations revealed widespread doping and alleged government officials helped to cover it up. … On Monday, track’s world governing body, the IAAF, will hold a council meeting with the stated aim of drawing up a road map for Russia’s return though, in some ways, […]

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RBTH: Over 1,000 Russian athletes involved in doping scandal – McLaren report

Olympic Rings Lit at Night, adapted from image at state.gov

In a more detailed version of the report released in July, the head of the independent WADA commission has announced that the international doping scandal implicates over 1,000 Russian athletes, and has repeated accusations of state involvement. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – ALEXEY MOSKO, RBTH – December 12, 2016) The publication of the long-awaited second part of the […]

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A Long Jump: Russia Claims Moral Victory From Rio Olympics

Olympic Rings Lit at Night, adapted from image at state.gov

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Tom Balmforth – MOSCOW, August 22, 2016) Russia’s medal haul at the Summer Olympics in Rio was the country’s smallest since the 1912 games in Stockholm, but that did not deter various officials and pundits from spinning the result as a victory for Moscow — or a moral one, at the least. With much of its […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Why Russia’s Olympic scandals could benefit Vladimir Putin” – Yahoo

Olympic Rings Lit at Night, adapted from image at state.gov

If you think the Russian doping scandal has brought shame and humiliation to Vladimir Putin’s nation, perhaps you need to think again. Experts on Putin and Russia tell Yahoo Sports it may be the opposite: that the doping allegations and the Paralympic ban actually has confirmed suspicions widely held – the rest of the world is unfairly biased against Russia. […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Bar Russia from the Rio Olympics” – Washington Post

File Photo of Sochi Olympics Banner Near Highway in Warm Weather with Vehicle and Cyclicsts Nearby

At the Winter Olympics in Sochi … no Russian athletes tested positive for doping, and to much celebration they took home 33 medals, more than any other nation. … behind the scenes, a system was in place that concealed the use of performance-enhancing drugs by … Russian athletes. … doping and coverups have been carried out by Russia across a range […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin] Statement in response to the report by the World Anti-Doping Agency

Olympic Rings Lit at Night, adapted from image at state.gov

(Kremlin.ru – July 18, 2016) President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Recent events and the tense atmosphere that has formed around international sport and the Olympic movement involuntarily recall the situation in the early 1980s. Back then, many Western countries, citing the deployment of Soviet troops in Afghanistan, boycotted the Moscow Olympics. Four years later, the Soviet Union retaliated by boycotting […]

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Kremlin: Russia Will Not Boycott Rio Olympics

Olympic Rings Lit at Night, adapted from image at state.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – July 11, 2016) Russia will not boycott the upcoming Olympic Games in Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Monday, Russian media reported. Peskov said that “Russia has always looked down on [Olympic] boycotts,” the Gazeta news website reported Monday. He promised to use “all possible mechanisms” to ensure the participation of Russian […]

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Sharapova to spend disqualification period at Harvard

File Photo of Maria Sharapov Carrying Olympic Torch and Waving at Sochi

Maria Sharapova enrolls at Harvard Business School after being banned from tennis for two years. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – NIKOLAI LITOVKIN, RBTH – June 27, 2016) Russian tennis player Maria Sharapova, who has been banned from tournament play for two years, will spend her disqualification period at the Harvard Business School. However, what exactly she will study […]

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All Russians Are Tainted by Putin’s Regime

Olympic Rings Lit at Night, adapted from image at state.gov

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Bershidsky – June 21, 2016) The International Olympic Committee’s decision to let Russian athletes compete in the Rio Olympics if they can prove that they haven’t used performance-enhancing drugs won’t be popular with other countries. Nonetheless, it was the right call. But it also carries some unpleasant undertones: It formally requires Russians to prove that […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Olympic Ban Adds to Russia’s Culture of Grievances” – New York Times

Olympic Rings Lit at Night, adapted from image at state.gov

When a global governing body for sports barred Russia’s track and field team from the 2016 Summer Olympics on Friday over a wide-ranging doping scandal, it was greeted in Russia, as is so often the case here these days, with a deep sense of victimhood. …Putin …called the decision ‘unjust, of course.’ …. Click here for New York Times: Olympic […]

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Interfax: Putin promises fight against doping at state level

Olympic Rings Lit at Night, adapted from image at state.gov

ST. PETERSBURG. June 17 (Interfax) – Russia will fight against doping in sports at the state level, Russian President Vladimir Putin said. “As for the official Russian authorities, I can say with full responsibility, that we are firmly against any doping,” Putin said at a plenary session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF). He said if it emerges […]

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Banned Russian Runners Struggle to Keep Their Careers Afloat

Olympic Rings Lit at Night, adapted from image at state.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Daria Litvinova – June 11, 2016) His first international race, the Kanazawa marathon was a special occasion for Viktor Ugarov, 30. Thousands of amateur Japanese runners took part, but none, in the end, provided serious competition for the runner from Irkutsk. Ugarov, who a year earlier had finished fifth in the Russian Championship, ended up […]

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Anti-doping rule breakers will be harshly punished – Mutko

Olympic Rings Lit at Night, adapted from image at state.gov

MOSCOW. June 9 (Interfax) – The harshest measures will be taken against those who were caught violating anti-doping rules, Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said. “If this is established, naturally, we will take the harshest measures against every person. All our correspondence will be examined, and even if anyone participated in this scheme with him [Grigory Rodchenkov, former head of […]

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Interfax: Russia won’t put up with unsubstantiated slander against it on issue of doping in sports – Peskov

Dmitry Peskov file photo adapted from image at kremlin.ru/wikimedia commons

MOSCOW. June 8 (Interfax) – Russia is against the use of doping in sports, but that does not mean that it is ready to put up with unsubstantiated slander against it on this issue, Russian presidential press officer Dmitry Peskov said. “We all remember that the Russian president has given an absolutely clear signal that the use of any types […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s reported doping is a subversion of the Olympic ideal” – Washington Post

… The latest evidence is a detailed report in the New York Times that Russian officials clandestinely carried out a doping program at the Sochi Games by giving athletes performance-enhancing drugs and then tampering with their urine samples to cover it up. The … account comes from the director of the Russian anti-doping agency at the time, who played a […]

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Interfax: Mutko believes in rebirth of Russian track and field athletics

Olympic Rings Lit at Night, adapted from image at state.gov

MOSCOW. May 20 (Interfax) – After the restoration of its rights, Russian track and field athletics should start with “a clean slate,” Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko told Interfax. “The majority of the disqualifications happened in track and field athletics and we will immediately set everything right and, I believe, start with a clean slate. At this stage, if everything […]

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RBTH: Olympic doping scandal: Whistleblower Rodchenkov may face court in Russia

Olympic Rings Lit at Night, adapted from image at state.gov

Grigory Rodchenkov’s exposure of Russian Olympic champions’ use of doping contains many unsubstantiated accusations and few facts, say Russian officials and experts. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – ALEXEY MOSKO, RBTH – May 16, 2016) Criminal proceedings may be launched against former head of the Moscow Anti-Doping Laboratory Grigory Rodchenkov, the man who revealed to The New York Times […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Revelations of State-Backed Doping Should Bar Russia From Rio Olympics” – New York Times/JULIET MACUR

Olympic Rings Lit at Night, adapted from image at state.gov

Accusations of Russian doping and reported claims of systematic distribution of performance-enhancing drugs and of bribes paid to cover up positive tests would be enough to scare off officials of any event worried about safeguarding its credibility. … you have to wonder what officials from the World Anti-Doping Agency and the International Olympic Committee are thinking now, in light of […]

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WADA banned meldonium without studying period of its withdrawal from athletes’ blood – Mutko

Medical Symbol with Pole, Serpents, Wings, adapted from image at lanl.gov

MOSCOW. March 22 (Interfax) – Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko has said that the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) did not publish the results of research on meldonium before banning this substance. “It is necessary to thoroughly examine the problems of this substance’s [meldonium] withdrawal and retention in blood. We have received a reply from WADA that they did not do […]

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Interfax: Putin requests not to promote ‘conspiracy theory’ regarding doping scandal

Olympic Rings Lit at Night, adapted from image at state.gov

(Interfax – March 16, 2016) Russian President Vladimir Putin has called on the chiefs of the Russian sports to refrain from politicizing the situation related to the meldonium use and from framing a ‘conspiracy theory’ with regard to Russian athletes. “Firstly, nothing should be politicized and no conspiracy theory should be promoted,” Putin said at his meeting with government members, […]

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Who’s to blame for the meldonium: Russia’s athletes, doctors or officials?

Olympic Rings Lit at Night, adapted from image at state.gov

The drug that has been banned since January 2016 may lead to the disqualification of several leading Russian athletes in the wake of the Maria Sharapova scandal. However, Russian officials and athletics insiders disagree on who should take responsibility for the latest doping debacle to engulf Russian sports. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – TIMUR GANEEV, SPECIAL TO RBTH […]

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VIDEO & ARTICLE: “The Masters Of Nothing”

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – The Daily Vertical: Brian Whitmore – March 11, 2016) Is it real or is it parody? Chechnya’s human rights ombudsman said a group of journalists and human rights activists brutally assaulted en route from Ingushetia this week may have staged the attack themselves. Meanwhile, the head of the Russian Skating Union said that the reason Russian […]

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Interfax: Moscow expects explanations from WADA on meldonium ban – Lavrov

Sergei Lavrov file photo

MOSCOW. March 10 (Interfax) – Russia expects explanations from the World Anti-Doping Agency, or WADA, following the inclusion of meldonium drugs in the list of banned medicines, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said. “I don’t want to gibe, I only want to say in all seriousness: those professional opinions about the justifiability of this step of the WADA that […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Meldonium Ban Hits Russian Athletes Hard” – New York Times

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

The fallout from Maria Sharapova’s failed drug test has ensnared her native Russia as it becomes clear that the banned substance found in her system is creating wider problems for Russian sports. … she … tested positive for meldonium during the Australian Open in January, shocking the tennis world …. in Russia, meldonium, also known as mildronate, was a common […]

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Quarter of Russians view doping charges against athletes as groundless

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Interfax – November 21, 2015) One quarter of Russians – 25 percent – believe the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) charges against Russian track-and-field athletes are groundless and can be explained by hostile attitudes toward Russia in general, the Levada Center public opinion foundation told Interfax after conducting a poll of 1,600 respondents in 134 populated areas in 46 regions of […]

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Russia’s Doping Scandal: The Main Allegations

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – November 13, 2015) An independent commission by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has recommended that the Russian athletics federation be declared “non-compliant” with anti-doping code, and be suspended from track and field competition, the report published Monday said. The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) president Sebastien Coe asked that Russia respond to the 350-page […]

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Russia to Consider Criminal Penalties for Doping, Sports Minister Says

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – November 12, 2015) Russia may introduce harsher penalties for doping, possibly making it a criminal offense, Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said at a press conference, the RIA Novosti news agency reported. “There are a number of measures we can take,” Mutko was quoted as saying by RIA Novosti on Wednesday. “We can introduce new kinds […]

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Russian media watchdog lifts ban on Wikipedia drug article

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

Roskomnadzor has removed a ban on a Wikipedia article about the drug charas. The online encyclopedia complied with the media watchdog’s demands after Russian telecom providers were told to block access to the material. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Yekaterina Sinelschikova, RBTH – August 25, 2015) A Wikipedia article about the narcotic substance charas that violated Russian laws […]

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Why are we so worried about the Russian doping scandal?

Hand Pulling Cash from Envelope

Fresh allegations over doping in international athletics have cast plenty of shame and doubt. They also reveal the west’s political prejudices and ignorance. (opendemocracy.net – Rolf Fretheim, Thomas Rowley – August 14, 2015) Rolf Fredheim is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities at the University of Cambridge, where he works on […]

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Interfax: FSKN: Drug mortality rate in Russia 20 times higher than in Japan

Russian Drug Den File Photo

MOSCOW. Nov 20 (Interfax) – Russia has the world highest mortality rate amongst drug addicts, Federal Drug Control Service (FSKN) chief Viktor Ivanov said. “The use of narcotic drugs causes an unprecedentedly high mortality rate in the age group from 15 through 34, at least 50,000-60,000 people die each year from internal organ pathologies,” Ivanov said at a government meeting […]

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Interfax: Expert says drug abuse rates in Russia not catastrophic, alcoholism much worse

Russian Drug Den File Photo

MOSCOW. Oct 17 (Interfax) – The official drug abuse figure in Russia stands at 650,000 people. Their number is down 9% for the first time ever, the Russian Health Ministry’s chief substance abuse specialist Yevgeny Bryun said. “I cannot call drug abuse rates catastrophic. The alcoholism problem is much worse here. About 650,000 drug addicts have been registered in the […]

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