: RFE/RL: Russia makes last-minute moves to avoid Olympic ban, prove athletes are drug-free

15:27 Apr. 24, 2016

RFE/RL: Russia makes last-minute moves to avoid Olympic ban, prove athletes are drug-free

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends the welcome ceremony for the 2014 Winter Paralympics at the Mountain Paralympic Villiage on March 6, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Getty Images)

Russian officials grudgingly agreed to recommendations made by WADA for establishing the country's anti-doping procedures

With the Summer Olympics swiftly approaching, Russia is undertaking measures to repair its battered reputation after many of its elite athletes were found to have used performance-enhancing drugs, seemingly with the connivance of the state.

Russian officials said on April 20 that two World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) experts will be based in Moscow to monitor the reestablishment of Russia's discredited anti-doping agency as the country scrambles to get a ban on its track-and-field athletes removed so they can compete in August's Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

"The [WADA] officials will be there to ensure Russia's anti-doping process is independent of outside influence -- without government influence," WADA spokesman Ben Nichols told.

Read also Sharapova failed drug test at Australian Open

Removing the Russian government from this aspect of its sports empire could prove a difficult task.

A WADA independent commission issued a report on November 9 charging widespread, systemic, and "state-sponsored" doping among Russian athletes. As a result, Russian anti-doping agency RUSADA was decertified and its drug-testing lab deemed inadequate.

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