Russia's new anti-doping chief vows to 'restore trust'
Moscow, Sep 20 (AFP) The new chief of Russia's anti- doping agency Yury Ganus said today it lost all credibility following the explosive 2015 report by Richard McLaren, but vowed to restore trust by the end of the year.
"The number one priority is to restore trust in RUSADA (the Russian anti-doping agency)," said Ganus, who took the job on August 31, in an interview with R-sport agency. "Currently the credit of trust has been exhausted."
McLaren's bombshell report released in 2015 alleged state-sponsored doping in Russia, with the country's track and field team banned from the 2016 Rio Olympics. A second report highlighted 31 tampered doping probes from footballers.
RUSADA was declared "non-compliant" with international anti-doping code and has been banned.
Russia has denied the government's involvement in instances of doping, saying its athletes were being unfairly discriminated against.
Ganus, however, has admitted the report requires serious consideration.
"I believe the demands and facts listed in the report are rather serious," he said. "McLaren is undisputedly a respectable person in the World Anti-Doping Agency. We have to understand and accept this."
"It is important to understand that the demands that have been made are not situational... There is no view that we are in the focus of a selective attack," he said.
Ganus was chosen in a vote by Russia's Olympic and Paralympic Committees in late August, following the decision in June by WADA to partially lift RUSADA's ban and allow it to plan and collect doping samples.
The little-known 53-year-old has a business background and took the post that was left empty for nearly two years.
At the time of the report's publication the post was held by Nikita Kamayev, who died suddenly in February 2016 following his resignation.
Kamayev was the second RUSADA senior official to die in a month, which Ganus hinted he believed was no coincidence.
"I know the backstory of the two deaths in the senior management. I don't know everything, but clearly two people can't just die," Ganus said, without elaborating