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New Doping Charges As Russia Vows To Do All To Escape Olympics Ban

Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko (file photo)
Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko (file photo)

The International Olympics Committee (IOC) has informed Russia that retests from eight Russian athletes at the 2012 Olympics in London have shown positive for doping.

The Russian Olympic Committee said on its website on May 28 that it had received the notice but did not name the athletes concerned. It said it would not do so until results of a second phase of the retests are also communicated by the IOC, likely next month.

Earlier this week, Russia confirmed that 14 of its athletes had shown positive in retesting of samples from the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

The new evidence of doping comes as Moscow pushes to be allowed to participate in the Olympic Games in Rio in August.

Russia’s sports minister said on May 28 that the country has done “everything possible” to ensure that the All-Russia Athletics Federation is reinstated in the International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF), the world governing body of athletics.

Vitaly Mutkotold Russia’s Match TV that the IAAF will make a decision on June 17 and that he hopes “common sense will prevail.”

However, he said he cannot rule out “the most negative decisions” for Russia’s participation in the Summer Olympic Games in Brazil.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is currently investigating allegations by a former head of Russia’s anti-doping laboratory, Grigory Rodchenko, that the Federal Security Service and government officials actively helped Russian athletes hide doping activity during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

International Olympic Committee head Thomas Bach said on May 18 that the allegations against Russia are “very detailed and therefore very worrying” and declined to exclude the possibility that Russia could be barred from the Brazil Olympics.

Russia's track and field athletes have already been suspended from international competition since November due to suspicions of a systematic doping program.

The IOC, which stores samples for a decade in order to retest using newer methods or to look for new drugs, is retesting samples from past Games in a bid to ban cheats from competing at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

The targeted retesting of samples from past Games by the IOC has focused mainly on athletes who could potentially compete in Rio and anyone found to have been doping will be banned from those Games.

In a bid to improve its chances of returning to competition in time for Rio, Russia's athletics federation has said it will not include any athletes on its Olympic team who had been banned for doping in the past.

With reporting by AFP, Reuters, Match TV, dpa, and Interfax
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