POSTED: February 9th 2010

Rogge warns Russians to put their house in order over doping controls

Vitaly Mutko: must heed IOC admonition / lake images
Vitaly Mutko: must heed IOC admonition / lake images

SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT / Sports Features Communcications

VANCOUVER, Feb 09: Russian sport, on the eve of the Vancouver Winter Olympics, has been urged by International Olympc Committee president Jacques Rogge to sharpen up its fight against doping.

Rogge said: “I have been very clear on this. We have been concerned by the number of positive cases. I had a meeting with the Minister of Sport Vitaly Mutko. I alerted him and he said he would do everything in his power to improve the situation.

“I also had a meeting with the President of Russia, Mr Medvedev, and insisted on strong action on doping. He promised he would launch that and he was very explicit also in public declarations after that."

Rogge, who did not say when he met Medvedev, added that the World Anti-Doping Agency had been involved in the process. He added: “We have also addressed this with our partners at WADA. WADA has offered the possibility of the Russian authorities benefiting from a consultancy with the anti-doping authorities. So, yes, we have alerted the Russian authorities and we expect them to cooperate."

The disciplines of Nordic skiing and biathlon have both been central in Russian doping controversies. At the end of last month Nordic skier Alena Sidko, a bronze medallist at the last Winter Olympicas, was dropped from the Russian team after failing a dope test for EPO during domestic competition.

That case brought to eigth the numbers of Russian Nordic skiers and biathletes punished lately for doping. They included stars such as triple Olympic champions Yulia Tchepalova, Olympic pursuit champion Yevgeni Dementiev and five-times Olympic biathlon medalist Albina Akhatova.

Further concern centres on biathlete Olga Pyleva, who was stripped of her silver medal in Turin in 2006. She served a two-year ban but now appears to have been welcomed back into the Russian team for Vancouver under her married name of Olga Medvedtseva.

With Russia’s Sochi hosting the next Winter Games in 2014, Rogge added: “I understand people are worried by the number of positive tests. They have every reason to be worried and the IOC, I believe, has shown its own concern by speaking to the Russian President. It is now up now to the Russian sports authorities to respond."

Keywords · Rogge · IOC · Olympic Games · winter Olympics · Vancouver · Pyleva · doping · WADA

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