Russia announces anti-doping reforms


Russia has approved a new anti-doping disciplinary panel as part of reforms aimed to stamp out corruption and lift a ban imposed on track and field athletes.

The IAAF suspended Russian athletes from competition last November after the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) was declared non-compliant by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) following allegations of state-sponsored doping.

Russia's minister of sport Vitaly Mutko vowed that Russia would do what was required to meet the criteria for ensuring it is deemed compliant in order for athletes to compete in the Rio Olympic Games.

It was revealed on Wednesday that a new anti-doping disciplinary panel has been approved along with regulations to ensure it has power to enforce tough action.

The Russian Ministry of Sport also announced that two WADA-nominated independent international experts will work on Russian anti-doping operations in Moscow on a full-time basis.

Track and field athletes intending to compete in the Olympics will also be required to undergo at least three independent, externally administered anti-doping controls carried out by the IAAF before the Rio Games along with existing anti-doping procedures. 

Mutko said: "We believe that sport must be clean and fair at all levels, from grassroots through to elite. We are 100 per cent supportive of WADA's efforts, alongside the IOC and IAAF and other organisations, to stamp out cheating.

"Russia is implementing all necessary reforms. To do this, in December 2015 we agreed a road-map with WADA to reform and reaccredit our operations including our anti-doping laboratory and RUSADA.

"The first meeting of the supervisory board and the presence of these independent experts are a key part of this road map.

"Clean athletes' dreams must not be allowed to be destroyed because of other people's mistakes. This is an important step in our journey."