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SOCHI, May 13. /TASS/. Statements made by Grigory Rodchenkov, an ex-head of the Moscow anti-doping laboratory, that Russian athletes widely used performance enhancing drugs at the 2014 Winter Olympics are groundless and should be not trusted, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday.
"They sound like absolutely ungrounded statements, have nothing to be based on and are not backed up with any reliable information," Peskov told journalists.
The spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin added that the allegations made by Rodchenkov in an interview with foreign media "look like a slander from a defector or something of that kind."
"I would rather not trust such ungrounded accusations," Peskov said.
The New York Times newspaper claims that at least 15 Russian winners and medalists of the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi used doping. On Thursday, the publication published a material citing former head of the Moscow antidoping laboratory Grigory Rodchenkov, the former head of the Moscow Anti-Doping Laboratory, who claimed that Russia had implemented a special state-run anti-doping program designed to ensure Russian athletes’ victory at the home Olympic Games.
The New York Times mentioned the names of bobsledder Alexander Zubkov (two gold medals at 2014 Olympics); skier Alexander Legkov (gold and silver); skeleton racer Alexander Tretyakov (gold) and the entire women’s ice-hockey team (sixth place).
The New York Times had dispatched letters to the Russian national federations of winter sports asking their presidents or the athletes mentioned in the list for comments.
"It reminds me of a relay, when a baton is passed from one foreign media source to another one," Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said. "These are all links in a single chain. There is nothing behind it in fact. There are no facts," Mutko stressed in his interview with TASS on Wednesday.