Alexander Zhukov: “The requirement for Russia to unconditionally accept all the conclusions of the McLaren’s report looks like an artificial obstacle of a political nature which has nothing to do with sport”

Dear members of the WADA’s Foundation Board! Dear Colleagues!

Over the past two years you and us worked hard in cooperation fighting against doping and the creating the new Russian anti-doping system.

Now Russia is implementing a National Anti-Doping Plan, developed by the Independent Public Anti-Doping Commission established by the Russian Olympic Committee.

As for changing the attitude to doping in the Russian Federation and fostering the new anti-doping culture, we have passed the state level laws that prove that our society rejects the use of doping in sport completely.

Today the inducement to doping in Russia is a criminal offence.

I would like to draw your attention to the fact that all the points related to operational, day to day activities of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency, have been fulfilled.

Now it is a fully restructured organization with a new management, independent of the Government and adequately funded.

Its restoration was controlled by the WADA. I think that there can be no doubt about that.

I’m sure we all understand that it’s time to move forward and recognize that RUSADA fully complies with the World Anti-Doping Code.

At the WADA Executive Committee meeting I told about our attitude to the  Professor McLaren’s report. Now I will dwell on it once again, because yesterday Mr. Taylor paid no attention to our position.

McLaren’s report became the starting point for a comprehensive readjustment  of the Russian anti-doping system and a catalyst for reform.

We agree with the fact that the anti-doping system in Russia suffered a significant failure. It is also recognized by the highest authorities of our country.

This failure occurred due to the organized activity aimed at manipulating doping tests of Russian biathletes. It was done by a group of individuals, whose purpose was to extract personal gain.

It was organized by the leaders of RUSADA, the Moscow anti-doping laboratory and other structures. The degree of involvement and the guilt of specific individuals will be established by the end of the investigation, which is currently carried on by the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation.

At the same time, we categorically deny the existence of the state system of doping support.

With regard to the other provisions of Professor McLaren’s report, the events of recent months have shown that information provided in this document is contradictory, often legally unconfirmed, requiring inspections for each specific case.

This especially applies to the idea that more than 1,000 Russian athletes are doped. This conclusion was refuted by the findings of various international sports federations.

The idea that the Russian athletes have won through systematic doping doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. The results of performances of our teams and individual summer and winter sports athletes over the past two years, during which they were under constant and very strict supervision by foreign anti-doping agencies, completely refutes this assertion.

They are also disavowed by the results of a large-scale testing of the last two seasons and numerous inspections by foreign organizations, responsible analyzing doping tests in Russia.

At the IOC Summit, held on October 28, it was emphasized that the results of the forensics from McLaren’s report cannot be used for assuming individual legal measures, because the methodology,  used by Professor McLaren, was not developed to determine individual anti-doping rule violations.

As obvious from above, the unconditional acceptance of McLaren’s report is impossible. This requirement cannot and should not serve as bar for full restoration of RUSADA. Otherwise it will lead to the inability to resume the work of the national anti-doping system in Russia, including the anti-doping laboratory, and the banning  Russian Paralympians from the Paralympic Games.

It’s not the result we were striving for, working together for two years.

I would once again like to stress that the requirement to Russia to unconditionally accept all the conclusions of McLaren’s report, has nothing to do with the daily activities of a fully reformed national anti-doping agency, which has also been under WADA’s control for the last two years. It seems more like an artificial obstacle of a political nature, which has nothing to do with sport.

After completing a number of important reforms, opening the door to constructive cooperation with you and having recognized the failures of the previous anti-doping system, I think we can say that now RUSADA and Russian sport in General can and should be considered reliable partners in the fight against doping.

Thank you for your attention!