13 September, 2017
The judges considered the Russians to be innocent and agreed that the data from the report of the independent Commission of the world anti-doping Agency (WADA), chaired by canadian lawyer Richard McLaren may not be sufficient grounds for disqualification of athletes.
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).
His absence contributed to Wada's decision that "the available evidence was insufficient to support the assertion of an ADRV (anti doping rule violation) against these 95 athletes". The report did not name any of the athletes under investigation.
An independent report by the World Anti-Doping Association (WADA) in 2016 accused Russian Federation of running a "state-sponsored doping program" to cover up positive drug tests for its athletes at major global competitions.
Russia's Anti-Doping Agency (Rusada) was declared "non-compliant" with global sport's anti-doping code in November 2015 and its track and field Olympics squad and entire Paralympics team were barred from Rio 2016. RUSADA was declared "non-compliant" with global 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.
A public acceptance of the report - which found that more than 1,000 Russian competitors across more than 30 sports benefited from an institutional conspiracy to cover up positive drug tests - would contradict the Kremlin's persistent denial of the state's alleged role in the widespread use of performance-enhancing drugs.
Niggli said that invetigations into other athletes implicated in the doping scheme are ongoing.
"The system was very well-organized", Niggli said.
Russia's anti-doping agency Rusada is now battling to get itself reinstated, but faces a list of remaining Wada criteria that it must first meet.