Wednesday, 23 January, 2002, 13:30 GMT
Russia alleviates doping fears
Russian officials say that there will be no danger of a doping scandal from their athletes at the Winter Olympics next month.
Nikolai Durmanov, head of the Russian Olympic Committee's (ROC) anti-doping commission, said on Wednesday, that all of the team had passed drugs tests.
It seems that ROC officials are determined to prevent any possibility of a doping scandal at the Salt Lake City Games, which start on 8 February, and want to offset any possible victimisation.
"Some of our athletes have recently become the victims of a witch-hunt," said Durmanov.
News of Russia's clean record will be pleasing to World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) chairman Dick Pound, who announced earlier this month that he was confident the Winter Olympics would be a drug-free Games.
According to Durmanov, the Russian skiing team had passed six, and in some cases seven, blood tests in the last three months.
"All of the country's athletes have passed dope tests ahead of the Games and all the coaches and team doctors have got all the necessary information concerning the banned drugs," he added.
"We are set to come to Salt Lake City with our hands clean."
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