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WADA dismisses IOC criticism on their handling of Russia doping

Europe
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Rio de Janeiro (dpa) - The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) on Monday dismissed criticism from Olympics head Thomas Bach on their handling of doping practices in Russia ahead of the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

WADA said in a statement it was not possible to release the report of their investigator Richard McLaren earlier than July 18 because the key witness, former Moscow doping lab chief Grigory Rodchenkov, had not shared his information last year with another WADA commission.

Rodchenkov came forward via American media in May, which prompted McLaren‘s probe.

WADA acknowledged that the timing of the report was "destabilising" for organizations ahead of Rio but also said McLaren‘s task was not to investigate individual athletes but rather the allegations of widespread and state-sponsored doping in Russian sport.

"WADA wishes to factually clarify that the Agency acted immediately on allegations concerning Russia when it had corroborated evidence and the power to do so under the World Anti-Doping Code," WADA said.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) headed by Bach decided on July 24 not to impose a blanket ban on Russian athletes but let the athletes‘ respective sports federations decide on their eligibility for Rio, followed by final checks by the Court of Arbitration for Sports and a three-strong IOC panel.

More than 250 Russian athletes are expected to compete at the Rio Games which open on Friday and run until August 21.

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