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Russia to Create Government Job to Fight Doping in Sport

Former Olympic walk champion Olga Kaniskina is one of the several sportsmen suspended for doping infringements.

Russia will create a government job that will concentrate exclusively on the fight against doping, Sport Minister Vitaly Mutko said Thursday.

"We are changing the structure, and I will have to create a position in the department, which will exclusively concentrate on fighting against doping," Mutko was quoted as saying by the TASS news agency.

"In part, it will answer for the independent Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA).

"We need to take a stronger stance towards this work. We have created an anti-doping system and it will be impossible to get around it. We need to help our sportsmen," Mutko added.

RUSADA announced Tuesday that three Olympic walk champions — Olga Kaniskina, Valery Borchin, Sergei Kirdyapkin — had all been suspended for doping infringements, as well as 2011 world champion Sergei Bakulin and silver medallist Vladimir Kanaykin.

Russia's anti-doping body said the suspensions were due to abnormal blood levels in their biological passports.

Mutko added that he was not happy with the work of the Russian Athletics Federation (VFLA), which he said was "not in tune with the state's anti-doping policies."

The VFLA president Valentin Balakhnichev has said he was prepared to step down from his position.

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