Putin wants doping investigation as Russian athletics in crisis
Nov 12, MOSCOW: Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered an investigation into claims that the country's athletes have been part of a systematic doping programme sanctioned by the government.
His reponse comes for the first time after the World Anti Doping Agency produced a bombshell report that demanded suspension of Russia's Athletics Federation from all competition including the 2016 Rio Olympics.
The report had outlined the evidence of systematic cheating with the consent of Moscow, noting that drug tests for athletes were conducted at a Russian lab that totally lacked credibility.
"The battle must be open. A sporting contest is only interesting when it is honest," said Putin seeking "professional co-operation" with anti-doping bodies. "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. It is essential that we conduct our own internal investigation and - I want to underline - provide the most open professional co-operation with international anti-doping structures."
On the backdrop of the head of Russia's anti-doping laboratory Grigory Rodchenkov resigned on Tuesday, while IAAF president Sebastian Coe has given the Russian Athletics Federation "until the end of the week" to respond or risk possible suspension, with the IAAF Council set to meet in Monaco on Friday.