MINSK, 19 November (BelTA) – The government has invested a lot of effort in promoting high performance sport, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he spoke at the meeting of the National Olympic Committee (NOC) of Belarus on 19 November, BelTA has learned.
“The state has done a lot for high performance sport. Our training grounds, arenas and training conditions are the envy of many countries,” the head of state said.
A new building of the National Research Center for Sports was inaugurated this year. “You said that you badly needed it. It is equipped with everything that is needed for scientific and medical support of the training process. We have done everything you asked for. If something is missing, go ahead and tell me,” the president said. The head of state wanted to know what impact the construction of the new building had on the quality of the training process and rehabilitation of athletes.
“We need to look into the staff of the center. We need to make sure that the employees of the center work for the benefit of athletes,” the Belarusian leader said.
The president also touched upon the doping issue. “Some recent developments are alarming. This pertains to Marina Arzamasova [middle-distance runner], Dzmitry Nabokau [high jumper], Kiryl Hryshchanka [wrestler]. I am looking forward to a candid discussion. These issues have a direct impact on the country's image,” the president said.
Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that Belarus has taken tough action on doping. This includes criminal proceedings for forcing athletes to use banned substances.
“You know what happens to those who disregard such issues. Our weightlifters are a case in point. After all the investigations they were left with only two Olympic spots. It is a pity, because our weightlifters (to their credit) have advanced to a very good level in recent years. They have shown determination and character,” the head of state said.
“You also see what is going on around the Russian sport. Our neighbors might have to participate under a neutral flag at the Olympics. They can impose sanctions on the entire country disregarding clean athletes,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.