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Russia vows to never acknowledge 'false' doping claims

Europe, Europa
07.12.2017
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Moscow (dpa) - Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev vowed on Thursday to never acknowledge accusations of widespread abuse of performance-enhancing drugs among the country‘s top athletes.

"They keep demanding that we confess to some programmes. This will never happen. We cannot and will not recognize false findings," Medvedev said in comments carried by state news agency TASS.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Tuesday suspended Russia on accusations of widespread, state-sponsored doping schemes in the country and at the 2014 Games in Sochi. The IOC has also imposed Olympic life bans on 25 Russian athletes.

Russia will not be allowed to send a national team to the upcoming Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, in February. Individual Russian athletes will still be able to compete.

Medvedev condemned the accusations, saying they have been based on "outright lies."

The doping allegations have been widely perceived in Russia as being politically motivated by Western rivals. Russia topped the medal table at the 2014 Games but has now lost 11 medals, four of them gold, amid the doping accusations.

Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko, who was sports minister at the time,, said on Thursday that he would resign if called upon by the country‘s leadership. Mutko is also chief organizer of next year‘s football World Cup in Russia.

The Kremlin said on Wednesday that it would first defend the interests of athletes before making any decision on punishing officials.

 

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