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Russia says complied with WADA norms, open for cooperation on doping

Russia says complied with WADA norms, open for cooperation on doping

MOSCOW (Reuters) – The Russian Sports Ministry said on Tuesday it was open for closer cooperation with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in order to eliminate any irregularities committed by the Russian anti-doping watchdog and its accredited laboratory.

On Monday an anti-doping commission report alleged widespread corruption in Russia, triggering one of the biggest doping scandals in sporting history.

The ministry also said Russia’s anti-doping policy had strictly complied with WADA norms.

WADA has recommended that Russian athletes are excluded from international events including the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil.

“Russia has been and will be fully committed to the fight against doping in sport,” the ministry said in a statement.

The commission said that at one point the laboratory in Moscow accredited by WADA destroyed 1,417 samples shortly before an inspection.

Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said there was no evidence for the accusations against the Russian Athletics Federation, and that the samples had been destroyed at WADA’s request.

The ministry also said Russia’s anti-doping policy has been in full compliance with “strict recommendations” from WADA and the International Olympic Committee, and that independent international observers had been engaged during big sporting events in Russia to oversee anti-doping procedures.

(Reporting by Maria Kiselyova; writing by Vladimir Soldatkin, editing by Jason Bush and John Stonestreet)

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