Sports

Russia responds to ‘rather unfounded’ doping claims by WADA

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The accusations of state-sponsored doping in Russian track and field appear “rather unfounded”, according to President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman.

Dmitry Peskov told journalists on Tuesday that whenever any charges are made, they must be based on some evidence.

Russia president Vladimir Putin. Image: Telegraph

Russia president Vladimir Putin. Image: Telegraph

He said “as long as there is no evidence, it is difficult to consider the accusations, which appear rather unfounded”.

Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko, whose ministry is implicated in the accusations made by the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada), threatened to withdraw all government financial support for anti-doping work.

“If we have to close this whole system, we would be happy to close it,” he told Russia’s Interfax news agency shortly after the Wada report was published, adding: “We will only save money.”

Mr Mutko remained defiant on state television, arguing that the report presented “no serious objective evidence” of state involvement in doping and that its focus on Russia was unfair.

IAAF boss Sebastian Coe has come under the cosh following the allegations. Image: Guardian

IAAF boss Sebastian Coe has come under the cosh following the allegations. Image: Guardian

He said: “Doping is not the problem of Russia. Russia should not be singled out. It’s a world problem.”

The claims come at a time when the country is already under scrutiny over its hosting of the 2018 football world cup amid the scandals rocking Fifa.

Source: Guardian

Emmanuel Offor

An avid sports fan who is also hooked on movies, music and books. Basically, I PLAYpen & PUNCHlines

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