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Russia says financing extra doping tests for athletes going to Rio

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Russia says financing extra doping tests for athletes going to Rio
Technicians Ilya Podolsky and Natalia Bochkaryova work at the Russian anti-doping laboratory in Moscow, Russia, May 24, 2016. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin
A technician holds a test tube with a blood sample at the Russian anti-doping laboratory in Moscow, Russia, May 24, 2016. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin
Technician Natalia Bochkaryova works at the Russian anti-doping laboratory in Moscow, Russia, May 24, 2016. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin
Folders reading "Cycling", "Wrestling", "Swimming", "Weightlifting", "Triathlon", "Water Polo", are seen behind an employee at the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) in Moscow, Russia, May 24, 2016. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin
A technician enters the Russian anti-doping laboratory in Moscow, Russia, May 24, 2016. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin
An employee works at the reception of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) in Moscow, Russia, May 24, 2016. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin
Technician Natalia Bochkaryova works at the Russian anti-doping laboratory in Moscow, Russia, May 24, 2016. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin
Technicians work at the Russian anti-doping laboratory in Moscow, Russia, May 24, 2016. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin
Technician Natalia Bochkaryova works at the Russian anti-doping laboratory in Moscow, Russia, May 24, 2016. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin
A technician works at the Russian anti-doping laboratory in Moscow, Russia, May 24, 2016. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin
Technicians Ilya Podolsky and Natalia Bochkaryova work at the Russian anti-doping laboratory in Moscow, Russia, May 24, 2016. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin
A technician works at the Russian anti-doping laboratory in Moscow, Russia, May 24, 2016. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin
Technicians work at the Russian anti-doping laboratory in Moscow, Russia, May 24, 2016. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin
Technician Ilya Podolsky works at the Russian anti-doping laboratory in Moscow, Russia, May 24, 2016. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin
A technician exits the Russian anti-doping laboratory in Moscow, Russia, May 24, 2016. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin
Technician Natalia Bochkaryova works at the Russian anti-doping laboratory in Moscow, Russia, May 24, 2016. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin
Acting head of Russian anti-doping laboratory Marina Dikunets attends an interview in Moscow, Russia, May 24, 2016. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin
Technicians Ilya Podolsky and Natalia Bochkaryova work at the Russian anti-doping laboratory in Moscow, Russia, May 24, 2016. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin
Bottles used for the collection of urine samples in doping tests, are seen at the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) in Moscow, Russia, May 24, 2016. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin
The logo of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) is seen outside its headquarters in Moscow, Russia, May 24, 2016. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin
Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) Director General Anna Antseliovich attends an interview in Moscow, Russia, May 24, 2016. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin
Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) Director General Anna Antseliovich attends an interview in Moscow, Russia, May 24, 2016. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin
Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) Director General Anna Antseliovich is seen at the RUSADA headquarters in Moscow, Russia, May 24, 2016. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin
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MOSCOW, May 21 (Reuters) - Russia is financing an additional testing program for its track and field athletes who may compete in the Rio Olympics, a step to prove commitment to cleaning up the sport amid widespread doping allegations, the country's sports ministry said.

Russia is at the heart of the biggest doping scandal in sport and its track and field athletes are suspended as a result of a probe into doping accusations, putting their participation in this year's Olympics in doubt.

The ministry said late on Friday that Russian athletes who may be competing in Rio would now be tested at least three times by the world athletics governing body IAAF, in addition to all the anti-doping tests they may have to undergo in the normal course of their preparations.

All samples will be collected by foreign companies and analyzed in laboratories accredited by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), while planning of those tests will be carried out by UKAD, Britain's anti-doping agency, the ministry said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday that Russia supports investigations into doping allegations, adding that he hoped the focus on his country was not politically-motivated.

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