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Putin against politicizing doping scandal involving Russian athletes

March 16, 17:35 UTC+3 MOSCOW
"We need a systemic and timely reaction to the decisions made, including those passed at the level of international organizations," the Russian president told Russian government members
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© EPA/JEAN-CHRISTOPHE BOTT

MOSCOW, March 16 /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that Russia should not politicize the doping scandal involving Russian athletes but should react promptly to WADA’s recommendations.

"It’s not necessary to politicize anything or advance any conspiracy theory. We need a systemic and timely reaction to the decisions made, including those passed at the level of international organizations," Putin told Russian government members at a meeting on Wednesday.

Putin said that the Russian side should have taken certain measures and got in touch with international organizations if it did not know anything about the possible effects of Meldonium use, of which Russian athletes are being accused.

"They ought to have discussed everything in advance instead of acting in hindsight, if a popular phrase is to be used, and talking profusely of what was right and what was wrong," the Russian president said.

Most Russian athletes have nothing to do with doping, so every measure must be taken in order to prevent their careers from being harmed by the doping scandal, he went on to say.

"We rightly take pride in the achievements of our athletes. No scandal can call in question their results. That’s absolutely clear," he said. "An overwhelming majority of our athletes observe the code of conduct and have nothing to do with prohibited formulas. Every measure must be taken to prevent their sports careers from being harmed by these scandals."

He urged the government to do its utmost to prevent anything like that from happening again and to present proposals on that score.

"I ask the government to consider issues of increasing effectiveness of national fight against doping and present relevant proposals," the Russian leader said at the meeting with government members.

Russia’s anti-doping legislation needs to be improved

According to Putin, Russia’s anti-doping legislation needs to be improved.

"It is obvious that our national anti-doping legislation needs to be seriously improved, if we have such setbacks, and it is necessary to punish those who prompt athletes to use banned preparations," Russia's president said, urging to take international practice into account.

‘Russia is a disciplined member of the international athletic community and is highly reputable in it. No one has doubts about that," Putin noted.

Putin criticizes Russian sports leadership for doping scandal

Russian President Vladimir Putin has blamed Russia’s sports leadership for the doping scandal around Russian athletes.

"Our sports leadership demonstrated lack of understanding of relevance of these issues, did not update on time the relevant lists that were presented by corresponding international structures, did not update our stop-lists, did not inform on time athletes and coaches about the decision of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to ban several substances," Putin said on Wednesday at the meeting with the government.

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