WADA to clear 95 Russian athletes, report says

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Three Russian cyclists are suing the World Anti-Doping Agency and the high-profile Canadian lawyer who led the recent explosive investigation into Russian doping allegations.

According to his report, over 1,000 Russian athletes - in summer, winter and Paralympic competitions - benefited from the alleged state-backed plot to hide positive doping tests.

Mutko insisted that Russian authorities had never run a state-sponsored doping programme and pinned all the blame on the laboratory and Russia's Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA).

They say they were banned from the Rio Olympics as a result of being implicated in the McLaren Report and suffered "great reputational harm".

They had launched an appeal before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) prior to the Olympics but lost.

"Together, Wada and Dr Richard McLaren prevented us from reaching our lifelong goal of participating in the Rio Olympics, the pinnacle of our sport, and we allege that they wrongly associated our names with cheaters and doping", said Sveshnikov.

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On Tuesday, The New York Times reported that WADA agreed to clear 95 of 96 Russian athletes allegedly involved in a doping scheme, whose cases had been reviewed by the organization.

Mutko said the appointment of Grigory Rodchenkov, who was behind the systematic violation of anti-doping rules in Russian Federation, as the head of Moscow's anti-doping laboratory, had been approved by WADA. RUSADA was declared "non-compliant" with worldwide sport's anti-doping code in November 2015 in the wake of the report by professor Richard McLaren which uncovered widespread doping in Russian sport.

Wada declined to comment on the lawsuit.

In May 2016, McLaren was tasked by Wada with investigating allegations of doping in Russian Federation.

His 144-page independent study concluded more than 1,000 Russians benefitted from the doping programme across 30 sports.