28 Nov 2019 14:54

WADA claims demonstrate unfair competition - Russian Foreign Ministry

MOSCOW. Nov 28 (Interfax) - The claims made by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) against Russia are a manifestation of unfair competition and an attempt to "oust" it by use of political instruments, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said at a press briefing on Thursday.

"The issue is being politicized for the purpose of ousting Russia. There is such a term as unfair competition. This is already no-holds-barred fighting, and could even be a war," Zakharova said.

It is inadmissible to politicize the doping claims against Russia, she said.

"Hundreds of facts evidencing the existence in a number of countries of unsolved doping problems and unwillingness to solve those problems have been presented" in recent years, Zakharova said.

"No one paid attention to those facts, and neither harsh nor strict measures were taken against those countries," she said.

"We have never before seen a package of measures amounting to at least a hundredth part of those taken against Russia. Even though the facts were outrageous, such as athletes from a whole bunch of states using prohibited medication, strange manipulations with samples and tests, and some kind of weird tolerance for use of narcotics," Zakharova said.

"Those cases were not individual, and it was not a position of particular athletes or sport associations, either. Whole states were involved in those processes," she said.

The WADA Compliance Review Committee has recommended that the WADA Executive Committee bar Russia from international competitions for four years as a penalty for manipulations with the Moscow anti-doping laboratory's data. In addition, it recommended that Russia be barred from filing applications for international competitions over that period. The recommendation will be considered at the WADA Executive Committee's meeting on December 9.

Late last week, the independent disciplinary body Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) suspended All-Russia Athletic Federation head Dmitry Shlyakhtin and Federation Executive Director Alexander Parkin for their unwillingness to be cooperative in the inquiry into anti-doping rules violations by high jumper Daniil Lysenko and falsification of documents.