Speaking at a meeting on preparations for the 2019 World Winter Universiade in Krasnoyarsk, Vladimir Putin said that Russia must acknowledge established cases of doping, carry out the needed investigations, and identify those responsible. The President said that doping is a completely unacceptable practice and the existing monitoring system in place in Russia has not worked effectively.
The President noted the latest assessments from WADA and IOC officials regarding the McLaren Commission’s report, and stressed that Russia has never had and will never have a state system supporting doping.
Mr Putin said he hopes the new anti-doping monitoring system the Moscow State University is currently developing will in the future put an end to any shady activity in this field. The President said that this system should be as strict and effective as possible, and that the Russian authorities must organise effective work with all partners, including the World Anti-Doping Agency and the International Olympic Committee.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: <…> Another issue I wanted to raise has to do with clean sport. I am referring to the anti-doping programmes. Mr Vitaly Smirnov [Honourary Member of the International Olympic Committee, Head of the Independent Public Anti-Doping Commission] and I just had a conversation on this issue. I would like to thank him for the efforts undertaken by his commission in this area.
We know the latest assessments from the officials at WADA and our colleagues from the IOC, who note that the McLaren Commission had inaccurate translations or inadequate evidence. Let me say again, and we said it repeatedly, that Russia has never had, and I hope never will have, a state system supporting doping. On the contrary, Russia will only combat doping.
Of course, and naturally enough, there is this issue of claims regarding scratches of some kind on some of the test samples. We do not understand what kind of evidence can we talk about because when we provided the test samples there were no complaints. If there was a problem with scratches of whatever kind, this should have been noted in the relevant reports, but there was nothing of this sort.
In other words, these samples were stored somewhere, and we cannot be held responsible for the storage conditions. But let me come now to my main point. The main point is that we must pay heed to what this independent commission says, despite the shortcomings in its work. We must pay heed to its work and its results, and to WADA’s demands, because we need to acknowledge that there are established and identified cases of doping here, and this is a totally unacceptable situation.
What this means is that our existing anti-doping monitoring system has not worked effectively, and this is our fault, and is something we need to admit and address directly. I hope very much that the Investigative Committee will see the needed investigation through to its completion and will identify all those responsible for this situation.
As you know, we are putting into place a new anti-doping system. It will be transferred from the Sports Ministry and Government oversight to an independent organisation, as many countries have done, and not in any figurative sense, but quite literally. The laboratory will be located on premises belonging to Moscow State University, and we will help them to obtain the modern equipment, technology and specialists they need. I hope that we will no longer have any swindlers, who organise doping programmes themselves and then flee abroad. I hope that our independent specialists and foreign specialists will help us to develop a strict and effective anti-doping system.
I hope too that Vitaly Smirnov’s commission as a public organisation will continue its work to supervise the anti-doping organisations’ work here in Russia. Of course, we must also work to ensure that doping does not arise in youth and student sport. These young people are just at the start of their sports careers. Let me say once more that we will do everything needed to organise positive, active and effective work with all our partners, including WADA and the International Olympic Committee.