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Olympic leader asks for government help in doping enforcement

Olympic leader asks for government help in doping enforcement
IOC President Thomas Bach attends a summit in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Oct. 8. (Fabrice Coffrini / Associated Press)

Speaking to European leaders, the president of the International Olympic Committee said Wednesday that sport needs government help in the fight against doping.

IOC President Thomas Bach made his request during a speech to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, France.

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"The cooperation between the governments and the Olympic movement is vital," Bach said.

His appearance before the council comes just months after a World Anti-Doping Agency investigation found evidence that the Russian government was involved in systemic doping of athletes from that country.

A large portion of Russia's team was excluded from the recent 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Bach acknowledged at the European gathering that the anti-doping effort needs to be reformed, with authority taken away from individual nations and given to an improved WADA, which would act as an independent global watchdog.

"Especially over the course of the last two years, the deficiencies in the World Anti-Doping Agency in the fight against doping have become apparent," he said. "It is encouraging to see the World Anti-Doping Agency now starting to address these deficiencies."

He added: "We can only make progress by joining forces, working together."

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