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Russian athletics chief: 'we are working to resolve problems'

Russian athletics chief: 'we are working to resolve problems'
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By Alasdair Sandford with Reuters
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The newly re-elected head of Russian athletics says reforms are underway, after more revelations of systematic doping.

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Russia continues to deny there has been a state programme of support for doping. The sports ministry said it would examine the new report commissioned by the world anti-doping agency WADA, pledging to fight doping with a zero-tolerance policy.

Athletics officials admit to problems, arguing that much has been done to put things right. The national federation held a news conference in Moscow to say it was too early to draw conclusions from the report.

The latest McLaren report unveiled earlier details a wide-ranging “institutional conspiracy” involving more than 1,000 athletes in more than 30 sports, that had affected several international championships including Olympic Games and World Champions.

“We agree that we have problems in Russian athletics and we do not hide it and we are moving forward to eliminate those problems from our life in full, from our day-to-day life and from our Russian athletics family. I think that those things which have been done during this period when we were suspended have proved our credibility with reforms and changes,” said Dmitry Shlyakhtin, the newly re-elected head of the Russian Athletics Federation.

He added that of many tests carried out this year, only three were positive.

Shlyakhtin became interim president of the federation in January, almost a year after Valentin Balakhnichev stepped down. Balakhnichev has been banned for life by the International Association of Athletics Federatins (IAAF) over his role in covering up positive drugs tests committed by Russian athletes.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said in a statement that it would re-test all Russian competitors’ samples from Sochi and London.

More than 250 urine samples were collected from Russian athletes at the games Russia hosted in 2014. The IOC said 63 blood samples collected from Sochi had been re-analysed and were negative.

IOC President Thomas Bach on McLaren Report pic.twitter.com/gPCZqcvggh

— IOC MEDIA (@iocmedia) December 9, 2016

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