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Russia's New Anti-Doping Chief Vows To Implement ‘Strong’ Checks On Athletes

Yelena Isinbayeva
Yelena Isinbayeva

The new head of the anti-doping board for Russian sports says her main task will be to establish an independent and transparent system to combat the use of performance-enhancing drugs by the country’s athletes.

"While working in the supervisory board, I will consider setting up a strong, independent, and transparent anti-doping system in Russia to be my main task," Yelena Isinbayeva, the newly elected chief of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) supervisory board, told reporters on March 9.

The Russian Athletics Federation in November 2015 was banned from international competition after an investigation by the independent World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) concluded that the Russian government was behind a widespread doping scheme.

Isinbayeva, a two-time Olympic pole-vault champion, has never failed a drug test. But she got caught up in the ban imposed on Russian athletes and was prevented from competing in the Rio Olympics.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on March 1 acknowledged individual instances of doping in Russia and said they indicated the country's anti-doping system "failed."

But he continues to deny that there was any state involvement in the doping abuses.

Isinbayeva said she would cooperate with WADA and other international organizations.

She said "the main task is to combat doping in Russia and detect all violations. It does not matter who violates the law, a great athlete or a beginner," she said.

Based on reporting by TASS and Reuters