Russian Sports Minister involved in doping cover-up- ARD

German TV ARD claims it has proof in a new explosive documentary that airs on Wednesday that Russia’s Sports Minister; Vitaly Mutko was directly involved in the cover-up of state controlled doping.

“As a result of some massive transgressions, the Russian state may possibly be facing a ban on the participation of its athletes at the Olympic Games in August in Rio de Janeiro.

“The ARD documentary ‘The Secret World of Doping: Showdown for Russia’ confirms, with previously unpublished documents, the massive suspicion that the Russian government was directly involved in the cover-up of the state-controlled doping,” a statement from ARD read on Tuesday.

“The film by Hajo Seppelt, Florian Riesewieck and Felix Becker also charges Russia’s Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko himself. The film presents documents, according to which Mutko prevented the publication of the doping offense of a footballer from Russia’s top league.

“In addition, new film footage proves that athletics coaches found guilty of doping and suspended for life are still coaching top athletes.

“The Taskforce of the International Athletics Federation IAAF, which had been presented with the research results for this film produced by the ARD/WDR-Doping Editorial Team, informed us in a letter dated 1st June 2016, that the research was a ‘very serious matter’ as well as a ‘matter of urgency’ and represented a ‘grave concern’,” the statement added.

IAAF will decide next Friday (June 17) whether the suspension of Russian Athletics Federation (Araf) slapped on the country last November will be lifted or extended.

Araf accepted its ban from international competition and promised to cooperate with inspectors who will oversee changes to its drug-testing system.

Russia became the first country to be banned from international competition because of doping offences after a meeting of IAAF council members in November.

Officials voted 22-1 in favour of the provisional sanction, which came in the wake of damning revelations by the World Anti-Doping Agency of systematic doping and cover-ups in Russia.

On Tuesday Mutko admitted “serious mistakes” had been made, and tours organised for foreign journalists of anti-doping facilities and the Sports Ministry was made as Moscow makes a charm offensive ahead of the decision on Russian athletes.

Natalia Zhelanova, an advisor to Mutko, announced on Monday that a new education programme for Russian schools and sports academies would focus on the evils of doping, hoping to raise a new generation of clean athletes.

A new law currently under consideration will make it a criminal offence for trainers to give banned drugs to their athletes.

“Of course we have problems, and we can’t ignore them,” The Guardian UK reported Zhelanova saying.

In February, Nikita Kamayev, the former head of Russia’s anti-doping agency Rusada, died unexpectedly after going cross-country skiing. Several days previously, he had contacted a British newspaper saying he wanted to tell his story.