MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia will create a government job that will concentrate exclusively on the fight against doping, Minister for Sport Vitaly Mutko said on Thursday.
“We are changing the structure and I will have to create a position in the department, which will exclusively concentrate on fighting against doping,” Mutko was quoted as saying by ITAR-TASS.
“In part, it will answer for the independent Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA).
“We need to take a stronger stance toward this work. We have created an anti-doping system and it will be impossible to get around it. We need to help our sportsmen,” Mutko added.
RUSADA announced on Tuesday that three Olympic walk champions, Olga Kaniskina, Valery Borchin, Sergei Kirdyapkin, had all been suspended for doping infringements, as well as 2011 world champion Sergei Bakulin and silver medalist Vladimir Kanaykin.
Russia’s anti-doping body said the suspensions were due to abnormal blood levels in their biological passports.
Mutko added that he was not happy with the work of the Russian Athletics Federation (VFLA), which he said was “not in tune with the state’s anti-doping policies”.
The VFLA president Valentin Balakhnichev has said he is prepared to step down from his position.
Reporting By Dmitriy Rogovitskiy; editing by Toby Davis