Countries calling for Russia to be banned from next year's Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang have exceeded their authority, the head of a key State Duma Committee claimed today.
A total of 17 countries who are members of the Institute of National Anti-Doping Organisations (iNADO), led by the United States and Britain, last week demanded that Russia be barred from Pyeongchang 2018 following allegations in the McLaren Report of "institutionalised doping" involving the country's Government.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) President Sir Craig Reedie condemned the statement.
Sir Craig accused the group of looking "backwards rather than forwards".
Today, however, iNADO announced that a further 11 National Anti-Doping Organisations (NADOs) had come forward to support their call originally made following a meeting in Denver.
The latest countries include Spain and Switzerland.
An update from iNADO made it clear that the "Denver Statement" targets the Russian Olympic Committee.
"The Russian Olympic Committee was at best negligently oblivious to the corruption of its anti-doping programme ('delivered' by RUSADA)," iNADO said in the statement published on their Facebook page, referring to the Russian Anti-Doping Agency.
"At worse it was complicit, or even an active player, in the corruption.
"Many, many clean athletes were hurt by this, including Russians.
"FOR THIS GROSS MISCONDUCT THERE MUST BE CONSEQUENCES.
"This is the point NADO leaders reiterated."
The statement from iNADO urged the IOC to follow the action taken already by the International Association of Athletics (IAAF) and International Paralympic Committee (IPC).
"The IAAF has punished its Russian NF with exclusion," their statement said.
"The IPC has punished its Russian NPC with exclusion. WADA has punished the Russian NADO under your jurisdiction with exclusion.
"Some Russian athletes were excluded pre-Rio (because of the actions of some other International Federations).
"But there have been no such consequences to the Russian Olympic Committee now over a year after McLaren’s initial report.
"It is to remind the sport movement and governments of this blatant and troubling omission that the NADO leaders continue to speak out.
"Exclusion is the clear and an appropriate consequence in the appalling circumstances already revealed."
Mikhail Degtyarev, chairman of the State Duma Committee on Physical Culture, Sport, Tourism and Youth Affairs, dismissed the latest statement from iNADO.
"These are attempts to exert pressure on Russia and the International Olympic Committee, this is unfair competition," Degtyarev told Russia's official news agency TASS.
"I’m sure that athletes whose anti-doping agencies try to exert pressure on Russia by non-sporting methods would not support this.
"Everyone acknowledges that without Russian athletes sport cannot be full-fledged in principle.
"So, we should turn a blind eye to this, these national anti-doping agencies go beyond their authority."