German channel to broadcast 4th Russian doping documentary next week

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Berlin, May 31 (IANS) German television channel ARD will telecast next week a new documentary on the alleged abuse of performance enhancing drugs in Russian sports, Hajo Seppelt, a German journalist known for reports on high-profile doping scandals in Russian athletics, has said on Twitter.

“A new episode of ‘Doping Secret: Showdown for Russia’ will be broadcast by ARD on June 8,” Seppelt wrote in his Twitter account on Monday, reports Efe.

In December 2014, ARD aired Seppelt’s first documentary on alleged doping abuse in Russian sports. The documentary, entitled Geheimsache Doping (Doping Top Secret), claimed that Russian athletes systematically took banned substances on instructions from their coaches.

Last August, ARD and Seppelt came up releasing another documentary “Doping Top Secret: The Shadowy World of Athletics.” The film claimed that ARD and British newspaper The Sunday Times had obtained a leaked database belonging to the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), which contained more than 12,000 blood tests from around 5,000 athletes in the years 2001 to 2012.

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ARD further alleged that a third of medals (146, including 55 golds) in endurance events at the Olympics and World Championships between 2001 and 2012 were won by athletes who have recorded suspicious tests but none of these athletes have been stripped of their medals.

On March 6, Seppelt premiered the third part of his documentaries, entitled “Doping Top Secret: Russia’s Red Herrings.” In that episode he claimed that the Russian athletics authorities were not taking sufficient steps to clean the sports from doping.

The series of German documentaries prompted a reaction from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), which ruled early last year to set up an independent body to investigate the issue.

WADA’s Independent Commission handled the investigation and subsequently published last November results of its probe into the activities of the ARAF (the All-Russia Athletics Federation), the Moscow anti-doping laboratory, the RUSADA (Russian Anti-Doping Agency) and the Russian Sports Ministry.

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The commission accused certain athletes and sports officials of doping abuse and involvement in other activities related to violations of international regulations on performance enhancing substances.

RUSADA and the Moscow anti-doping laboratory subsequently suspended their activities, while WADA’s Board of Founders approved the decision of the agency’s Independent Committee that RUSADA did not comply with the Code of the international anti-doping organization.



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