• Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Putin: Russia Must Be 'Most Open' About Doping

In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Vladimir Putin has said Russia needs to conduct its own investigation into claims its athletes have systematically taken performance-enhancing substances.

Mr Putin was speaking for the first time since the allegations were made in a report commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

He said Russia needed to cooperate with international organisations looking into the issue as openly as it could.

"I ask the minister of sport and all our colleagues who are linked in one way or another with sport to pay this issue the greatest possible attention," he said.

"It is essential that we conduct our own internal investigation and provide the most open - and I want to underline - the most open professional cooperation with international anti-doping structures."

A judo black belt, Mr Putin said the problem of doping was not confined to Russia, but the country had a duty to protect its athletes from banned substances.

"The battle must be open. A sporting contest is only interesting when it is honest," he said.

He added that if problems were found someone would have to personally assume responsibility.

There have been calls for Russia to be banned from next year’s Rio Olympics after the WADA report claimed the 2012 London Games were "more or less sabotaged" by cheating Russian athletes.

It accused the Russian government of complicity in widespread drugs cheating and attempts to cover it up.

The 350-page report claimed the director of the Moscow laboratory at the centre of the allegations, Grigory Rodchenkov, who has since resigned, was key to a "conspiracy to extort money from athletes in order to cover up positive doping test results".

It also claimed Mr Rodchenkov ordered 1,417 samples at the now closed lab - which oversaw 2014 Sochi Olympics testing and was due to work on the 2018 World Cup - to be destroyed to remove evidence for the inquiry.

In addition, the report said Russia's intelligence service, the FSB, infiltrated anti-doping work during the Sochi Games - part of a wider pattern of "direct intimidation and interference by the Russian state".

As the findings emerged, the international police body Interpol said it would co-ordinate a global investigation into corruption and doping in athletics.

The new president of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), Lord Coe, has vowed to take whatever steps are necessary to stamp out doping in the sport.

Lord Coe told Sky News the IAAF could impose a ban on Russia when it considers the WADA report at a special meeting on Friday.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting