Russia announces anti-doping reforms in bid to avoid Rio ban

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Russia has announced reforms it hopes will repair the credibility of its anti-doping body and will see its athletics team compete at the Rio Olympics.

Russia was suspended by the IAAF, athletics' world governing body, last November after being accused of "state-sponsored" doping in a report commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

All Russian track and field athletes intending to compete in Rio in August will undergo a minimum of three independent, externally administered anti-doping controls before the Olympic Games, the Russian ministry of sport announced on Wednesday.

These controls will be carried out by the IAAF and be in addition to existing anti-doping procedures.

Two independent international experts, nominated by WADA, will be based full-time in Moscow from the end of April.

They will have "full and free" access for as long as necessary "to ensure the Russian anti-doping system is free of undue interference and is fully independent," the ministry of sport said.

Russia's minister of sport Vitaly Mutko said: "We believe that sport must be clean and fair at all levels, from grassroots through to elite.

"We are 100 per cent supportive of WADA's efforts, alongside the IOC (International Olympic Committee) and IAAF and other organisations, to stamp out cheating.

"Clean athletes' dreams must not be allowed to be destroyed because of other people's mistakes. This is an important step in our journey."

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