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RUSADA and Russian Olympic Committee confident Matytsin can help solve crisis after appointment as Sports Minister

Oleg Matytsin can help solve the crisis in Russia following the doping scandal after he was appointed as the country’s Sports Minister, several leading officials in the nation have claimed.

The International University Sports Federation (FISU) President’s appointment has been welcomed by Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) director general Yury Ganus and the head of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC), Stanislav Pozdnyakov.

Ganus claimed the 55-year-old was trustworthy and could “mobilise all interested parties and cope with the tasks”.

The RUSADA chief, who publicly clashed with Matytsin’s predecessor Pavel Kolobkov after Russia was found to have manipulated data from the Moscow Laboratory before it was handed over to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), revealed he was looking forward to working with the new Sports Minister.

Ganus also praised Dmitry Chernyshenko, President and chief executive of Sochi 2014, after he was chosen as one of nine Deputy Prime Ministers.

 RUSADA director general Yury Ganus is among the officials to have welcomed the appointment of Oleg Matytsin and Dmitry Chernyshenko ©Getty Images

We are facing a serious challenge, but the Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister can help deal with it,” Ganus said, according to Russia’s official state news agency TASS.

“There are issues that we can and must work together.

“During our conversations, I did not see any contradictions.

“I want to wish them every success,

“RUSADA is ready to lend support the new Minister and Deputy Prime Minister and actively cooperate with them.”

Pozdnyakov, who could be banned from attending major events if the Court of Arbitration for Sport rules in favour of WADA in the Russian doping case, wished Matytsin “fruitful work in his new position and success in solving a wide range of tasks facing the Ministry”.

“We have known each other for a long time, he has all the necessary qualities of a leader who is able to effectively solve problems of any complexity,” he said.

“He is well known and respected for his work as President of FISU in a large Olympic family, this is a big plus, including for the further development and strengthening of our international sports relations through the Ministry.”

     New Russian Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin with The Chronicles Sports Writer Omar Jarju in Russia, 2019

Matytsin’s first task will be dealing with the Russian appeal against and the series of sanctions from WADA, which includes a ban on the country’s flag at major events such as this year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo.

First deputy chairman of the State Duma Committee on Physical Culture and Sports, Vyacheslav Fetisov, also hailed the appointment of Matytsin and of Chernyshenko.

“Dmitry took up a difficult task, heading the Organising Committee of the Olympic Games, which were recognised as one of the best in history,” double Olympic ice hockey gold medallist Fetisov said, according to TASS.

“With Oleg Matytsin we worked together to promote student sports in the country.

“He has a professional approach and knowledge, the most the main thing is that both have international experience in communication.

“This is the most necessary thing to establish relationships and end this whole difficult story with the image of Russian sports.

“These are the guys who can return the good name to Russian sports.”

Russian Bobsleigh Federation President Elena Anikina, the chair of Sochi’s successful bid to host the 2014 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games and former director of international relations at ROC, called the appointments “simply wonderful”.

“I know both of them – these are high-level managers, super-managers, very competent,” she told TASS. 

“It seems to me that it’s impossible to think of anything better.

“I worked with these people and the highest opinion about them, I believe that such appointments will help us fundamentally change the situation in sports for the better,”


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