Russia announces package to reform attitudes to doping


Russian schoolchildren will be given lessons on anti-doping as part of a package of new measures aimed at stamping out cheating in sport.

Doping scandals have tarnished Russia's reputation in recent times, with allegations of state-sponsored doping last year prompting the IAAF to ban track and field athletes from the European nation competing on the global stage.

Doubts remain over whether that suspension will be lifted ahead of the Rio Olympic Games in August as Russia attempts to clean up its act.

Russia's Ministry of Sport, in conjunction with the Council of Europe, on Monday revealed plans to educate Russian professionals in sport and medicine on the values of sport - with an emphasis on fair play and the message that doping is unacceptable.

Anti-doping lessons will be added to the curriculum in schools as part of physical education classes, while higher education institutions for professionals in the fields of sport and medicine will teach an anti-doping class.

There will also be extra training for doctors and medical personnel, coaches and employees of sport federations. 

Natalya Zhelanova, anti-doping adviser to the minister of sport, said: "We are working tirelessly to ensure that sport in our country is clean and fair, and educating the next generation of athletes is essential to spreading the clean sport message.

"We recognise that to create real change we must inform athletes from the very beginning of their careers. It is about instilling the right values from the outset, but we hope this initiative will be supported by wider society as this is a change that all Russians must embrace.

"That's why we are launching this new initiative to help our future stars make the right choices, invest in fair play, and win the fight against doping."