Russian Olympics chief calls for quick nod to banned drugs list

Moscow, Nov 3 (IANS) Russia Olympic Committee President Alexander Zhukov urged the government on Thursday to approve the list of doping preparations as soon as possible.

The relevant powers have been granted to the government by a law adopted on Thursday on criminal liability for inducing athletes into doping use, reports Tass.

“Indeed, the government needs within the shortest time possible to approve and make public the list of banned preparations because this law stipulates a very serious degree of criminal liability, imprisonment and removal from profession. That is why, it is necessary to make things clear as quickly as possible,” Zhukov said at a session of the lower house of Russia’s parliament.

Zhukov has described the law on criminal punishment for coercion of athletes into doping passed by the State Duma, the lower legislative house, on Thursday as a response to all accusations against Russia over the alleged state support for the use of illicit drugs.

“This emphasises once again that our state policy is zero-tolerance attitude towards doping, first and foremost, towards the coaches who coerce juvenile athletes into using illicit drugs,” Zhukov said at a meeting.

“This is, of course, the answer to our foreign critics who accused our country of some alleged state programme to support doping abuse. Certainly, such a programme never existed.”

Zhukov recalled that Russia had always fought against doping abuse at all levels, starting with the President and the government.

“On the other hand, the use of doping in various sports, including in Russia, in such sports as weightlifting and track and field athletics, has become more frequent recently. We see a large number of doping cases,” he said.

“I believe this is also a clear signal to those in Russia who argue it is impossible to achieve success in high-performance sports without doping.”

“This is, certainly, not the case. All of our great sports history, both Soviet and Russian, proves that our clean athletes have always achieved success in major competitions, including the Olympic Games.”

Zhukov added that during the Rio Olympics, Russian athletes “had been checked more than anyone else”, and athletes from Russia “who did not use any banned drugs achieved remarkable results.”