'Russia not hiding athletes from doping control'
Glasgow, Nov 21 (IANS) The head of Russia's Independent Public Anti-Doping Commission Vitaly Smirnov has ruled out the authorities' hand in the reported inability of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to probe for doping some Russian athletes.
During a meeting of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Foundation Board Meeting here on Sunday, some participants at the event said doping officers could not get access to some Russian athletes to take samples, reports Sputnik.
"The roadmap exists, we have received it, and here we are full of optimism, there are several questions there, addressed to us traditionally, and one of them is about closed cities," Smirnov said.
"I can understand the nature of suspicion, as there is a certain misunderstanding what such cities in our country are about, or in any other country, including on the North American continent."
"They claim we are hiding our athletes there. This is not true," he added.
The Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) is not accredited by WADA now, and thus cannot be working. Smirnov's commission seeks restoration of the rights of the Russian agency.
Smirnov said he had a long meeting with the head of WADA's independent commission.
"Recently, I have had a long meeting with Professor (Richard) McLaren," he said during WADA's Executive Committee Meeting on Sunday.
"Our commission also works with IOC commissions heads Messers Denis Oswald and (Guy) Canivet. We are working hard on raising effectiveness of fighting doping in our country, and the key approach, which I shall never ignore, is the zero tolerance to any doping in sports. We wish the changes in the Russian society were even slightly more prompt."
"But, at the same time, with the objective of having practically ideal system in Russia, we believe, similar approaches to fighting doping should be recognised across the world," Smirnov added.