‘McLaren drops charges of state-sponsored doping program’ - Anti-Doping commission chair Smirnov

‘McLaren drops charges of state-sponsored doping program’ - Anti-Doping commission chair Smirnov
The head of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)-commissioned investigation has dropped his charges of the alleged state-sponsored doping program in Russia, says the head of the Russian Independent Anti-Doping Commission, Vitaly Smirnov.

In 2016, Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren published two parts of his WADA-sanctioned report on doping in Russian sport. According to the report over 1,000 Russian athletes – in summer, winter and Paralympic competitions – benefited from the alleged state-backed plot to conceal positive doping tests.

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Now, according to the head of the Russian independent anti-doping commission, Vitaly Smirnov, McLaren has “dropped the charges.”

“I’ve earlier met with McLaren. Eventually McLaren said that he is dropping his charges on state intervention,”said Smirnov, talking to reporters at the press conference following the meeting of the Independent Anti-Doping Commission, on Monday.

“It’s very important,” he added.

Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov also commented on the issue later in the day, TASS reported.

“If that [information] corresponds to reality, then we can only welcome it,” said Peskov.

“From the very beginning we denied even the hypothetical chance [of state involvement], and of course we can only express gratification, if that is true,” he added.

The Independent Anti-Doping Commission, chaired by Vitaly Smirnov, was created in response to a proposal by Russian President Vladimir Putin, following the publication of the McLaren report in 2016.