Russian Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov (right) has defended Russia's responses to anti-doping problems
By Nick Butler for Inside the Games, April 5, 2017
Russian Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov is adamant that his country is resolving its doping problems and deserves to be fully reintegrated into the international sporting fold as soon as possible.
The former Olympic fencing champion admitted his disappointment with the number of doping cases still emerging from retests of Beijing 2008 and London 2012 samples.
But he insisted they are now doing everything possible to reform the system.
Any suspension or restriction of their participation at next year's Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang would therefore be unfair, he claimed.
Russia is a country with a national flag, a national hymn, Kolobkov told insidethegames here during the SportAccord Convention.
There should be no discussions that we should not take part under the flag of this great sports country.
If I don’t believe that Russian sportsmen will take part in the Olympic Games, there is no point me working.
I believe many important people believe this too.
Kolobkov, appointed Sports Minister in October when Vitaly Mutko was promoted to Deputy Prime Minister, has held a series of meetings here with leading officials here.
These included World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) President Sir Craig Reedie and International Olympic Committee (IOC) counterpart Thomas Bach.
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