Russia's Olympic chief asks for stepping up national anti-doping work

Indo Asian News Service

Moscow, March 31 (IANS) Russias fight against the use of performance enhancing drugs in sports must not be of a claptrap nature, Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) President Alexander Zhukov said on Friday.

Beginning last year, Russian athletes were constantly under the gun due to numerous doping abuse accusations. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)'s Independent Commission accused certain athletes and sports officials of doping abuse and involvement in other activities related to violations of international regulations on performance enhancing substances.

The work of the Moscow anti-doping laboratory and Russian Anti-Doping Agency (Rusada) was eventually suspended.

"Today's one of the most important tasks is to revive our system of the fight against doping, for Rusada (Russian Anti-Doping Agency) to be reinstated and for the laboratory to resume its work," Zhukov said, reports Tass news agency.

"We must make it clear for ourselves that the fight against doping is not just for the sake of box-checking, as it is first of all necessary for us, for our young athletes. They must be aware of that since the very start," the ROC president added.

One of the most important tasks for the Russian government is the construction of new sports facilities across the country, he went on.

"Physical culture and sports is in very high demand at many regional places as I see during my numerous travels, particularly in Siberia, where the demand is extremely high," Zhukov said.

"Sports tournaments in Russia and participation of our athletes at international competitions inspired people and we see a great demand for sports," he added.

"We must decently meet this demand by increasing the scale of construction works (of sports facilities), improving the state of children's and youth sports schools and raising up (Olympic) reserve," the ROC president said.