WADA closed the case against 95 Russian athletes from 96

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In a further telephone interview to the New York Times, Niggli said, "We have to accept the fact that McLaren's goal was to prove a system, not individual violations".

Last week McLaren denied reports by the head of the Russian Independent Anti-Doping Commission that he had dropped allegations of a state-sponsored doping programme, and insisted he "unequivocally stands by the results" of his investigation.

"WADA would expect the Russian authorities to take responsibility for this deliberate system of cheating that was uncovered by the McLaren Investigation - as is stipulated within RUSADA's Roadmap to Compliance - rather than continually shifting the blame onto others", WADA spokesperson Maggie Durand said. The publication does not name the athletes.

The Director General of WADA, Olivier Niggli the report says that in 95 cases out of 96 had not been found sufficient evidence of use by the Russians of illegal drugs. They should have been responsible for (Rodchenkov) before as they have issued him a licence and given him a work permit."They were in control of him but now the state (Russia) is blamed for it", he added. The report does not specify who the athletes are.

His lawyer, Jim Walden, wrote to the New York Times to claim that his client would have cooperated with WADA.

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"Dr Rodchenkov has been willing to cooperate".

Three riders who were prevented from competing in the Rio Olympics previous year as a result of doping allegations against Russian Federation have launched legal action against the World Anti Doping Agency WADA and the Canadian doping investigator Dr Richard McLaren.

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

A day prior to the opening ceremony of the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics, the International Olympic Committee barred 167 Russian athletes from participating on account of doping charges and a blanket ban for the paralympic team.

Question marks still remain, however, about the country competing at Pyeongchang 2018 in February.

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