What Russia does vs doping usage in sports (by Ambassador Yakovenko, for RT)
In 2009, the National strategy for sport and physical culture was accepted in Russia. One of the cornerstones of the program was heavily stressed anti-doping control system. More numerous and sophisticated tests were used, bio-passports introduced, those found even suspect of doping usage were mercilessly banned – sportsmen as well as their coaches. The system was tried and tested many times, including by WADA (last time for some 6 months ago) – and was never considered wanting in transparently or thoroughness. The question, what has changed over these six months that WADA so dramatically changes its opinion, is an intriguing one, and deserves a special – but a separate – story. But for today, three key points should be clear from what information is available.
First of all, Russia, as a respectable member of international sport society, will cooperate with international sport and controlling authorities. Any proposal aimed at fairer, more transparent sport competition will be welcomed by Russian authorities, as it has always been.
Secondly, Russia expects any investigation to be open and without prejudices. After all, most experts agree that doping usage is not, and never was, exclusively a Russian issue. Global effort is needed to combat the international challenge, and any serious reform effort should be aimed at creating equal environment for all participants.
And last, but not the least. Final aim of anti-doping struggle should be the protection of honest, hard-training athletes. Unless found guilty by a due procedure, no sportsman should be subject to any punishment – including banishment from sport events. Russian sport authorities will use all instruments in their power to protect honest sportsmen, including, if needed, law suits.