- Title: Doping a criminal offence in Russia
- Date: 22nd October 2016
- Summary: MINSK, BELARUS (OCTOBER 22, 2016) (REUTERS) EXTERIOR OF BUILDING HOSTING EUROPEAN OLYMPIC COMMITTEES (EOC) GENERAL ASSEMBLY MEETING OLYMPIC FLAG FLAGS AND OLYMPIC LOGO OLYMPIC RINGS
- Embargoed: 6th November 2016 13:57
- Keywords: Doping Russia WADA sports
- Location: MINSK, BELARUS
- City: MINSK, BELARUS
- Country: Belarus
- Topics: Olympics,Sport
- Reuters ID: LVA00155358AN
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Russia will punish individuals found guilty of doping under the country's criminal code, said a Russian sports official at a meeting of the European Olympic Committees (EOC) on Saturday (October 22).
Viktor Khotochkin, a member of the EOC, said the Russian State Duma, the upper legislative chamber and the country's ministry for sports were working as one team to clean up sports.
"Our president Mr. (Alexander) Zhukov is initiating a few new legal initiatives which would make the punishment for the illegal use of doping in Russian sports very, very serious. It is considered now as a criminal violation," Khotochkin told the EOC general assembly.
Russia was suspended from international athletics last year after an investigation uncovered damning evidence of widespread doping and corruption.
Russia's track and field team were banned from the Rio Games by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) in response to the doping allegations and the country's competitors were barred from the Rio paralympics.
The EOC is meeting in the Belarussian capital Minsk for a general assembly ahead of the European Games set for 2019.
Belarus has announced it will host the second edition of the continent's multi-sports event.
The inaugural European Games were staged in Baku, Azerbaijan, last year at a cost of several billion dollars.
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