måndag 23 mars 2009

Doping tests must modernise

MOSCOW - DOPING tests in Russia must be modernised and tightened up in a bid to crack down on athletes using performance-enhancing drugs, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Monday.
'The main problems of doping tests in Russia have occurred because the existing methods here do not fit strict demands of up-to-date doping control in Europe,' Medvedev said after visiting a training centre in Sochi, the Russian Black Sea resort city that will host the 2014 Winter Olympics.
'Doping tests are one of the main parts in the process of preparing the country's athletes,' the president said, quoted by the ITAR-TASS news agency.
'We need to solve all the technical problems in this sphere, otherwise our problems with doping will continue.'
Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko replied that a new modern doping control center would be opened in Russia before the end of the year.
'There will be no more problems in dope testing for us in the near future,' Mutko said.
Earlier this year three Russian biathletes were suspended after failing dope testing.
Ekaterina Iourieva, who was leading the World Cup rankings when she was banned in February, along with compatriots Albina Akhatova and Dmitry Iaroshenko, all tested positive for banned substace EPO.
Meanwhile, the samples that were given by the 22-year-old ski sprinter Natalia Matveyeva at the seventh World Cup stage at Whistler, Canada, on January 16-18, showed the presence of EPO.
Last year several top-class Russian athletes were sidelined after failing drugs tests, missing their chances to perform at the Beijing Olympics. -- AFP

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