Russian Olympic chief confident of good show at Rio

Moscow: Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) president Alexander Zhukov has said that the national contingent will be successful at the upcoming Olympic Games despite recent media reports and probes carried out by sports federations on doping allegations against them. "All recent steps taken against our country and our athletes will be no obstruction for a successful performance at Rio," Tass quoted Zhukov as saying on Friday.  "Athletes of various (national) teams are preparing for the upcoming Games in line with the initial schedule and in various locations -- from Brazil to our training bases in Sochi." he ROC president reiterated that the final entry list of the Russian athletes for the Rio Games starting from August 5 would be approved on July 20 and the country’s delegation would boast a large representation, despite setbacks in some disciplines. "We believe that the decision to suspend all of our track and field athletes is unjust," Zhukov said. "We must not punish athletes, who are innocent and never consumed performance enhancing drugs." The WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) Independent Commission published on November 9 the results of its probe into the activities of the All-Russian Athletics Federation (ARAF), the Moscow anti-doping laboratory, the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) and the Russian Sports Ministry. The 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. Eventually, the IAAF decided to suspend All-Russian Athletics Federation’s membership in the global governing body of athletics and put forward six criteria, which ARAF was obliged to implement to restore its membership. Starting this year doping control in Russian sports has been exercised by the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) strictly under the supervision of the British anti-doping agency (UKAD).