‘Russia ready to cooperate to fight doping’

MOSCOW: Russia firmly denies the allegations on enabling the use of doping by the country’s athletes, but will cooperate with the international organisations in fighting it, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday.
In July 2016, World Anti-Doping Agency’s (Wada) independent commission headed by Richard McLaren introduced a report based on the investigation results, in which Russia was accused of running a state-wide doping programme, and urged the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to consider a blanket ban on the entire Russian team. The second part of the report was released on December 9. The report claimed that more than 1,000 Russian athletes were involved in doping manipulations or benefitted from them. The names of the athletes were not disclosed.
“We strongly reject these allegations, at the same time, the president stressed the necessity to fully cooperate with the international organisations to clarify the situation and work out a new effective (system) on prevention of the use of doping,” Peskov told reporters.
Tennis tourneys ‘skip’ doping tests
Separately, some of the major tennis tournaments in 2016 were held without testing the athletes for doping, including the Shanghai Masters, media reported on Thursday, citing sources in tennis.
“An unnamed tennis player ranked inside the top 50 was tested about eight times this year, despite playing more than 20 tournaments and 65 matches, while another source close to a tennis event confirmed that in some years testers did not attend the tournaments,” Sputnik news media said citing a report in The Times newspaper.
Another high-profile player said that it is more common for him not to be tested at tournaments.
Tournaments are required to provide facilities for anti-doping officials to conduct tests. However, according to reports, these often go unused.
The International Tennis Federation (ITF), which runs the tennis anti-doping programme, operates on an annual budget of about $4 million.
A number of sporting figures, including British tennis star Andy Murray, have called for increased funding. — IANS