In the wake of Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren latest doping report, which further proved that over 1000 Russian athletes in were involved in a state-sponsored doping program, Russian president Vladimir Putin continues to vehemently deny a nation-wide scheme.
According to Putin, who spoke at his annual year-end press conference on Friday afternoon, the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation and the Prosecutor’s Office is currently investigating all allegations related to doping, and expects to “bring it all to a logical conclusion.”
The Russian president also added that Russia plans to cooperate with various international agencies to come to reasonable solutions, though denied any state-run doping system in the country.
“Russia has never created [a doping program]. It is simply impossible and we will do everything to prove that this never happened, the state doping system or support of performance-enhancing drugs.”
The initial McLaren Report began a domino effect that eventually saw 111 athletes banned from competing at the 2016 Rio Olympics. While the entire Russian Track & Field team was also banned from competition, many believed the entire nation should have been denied the opportunity to compete at the Olympics. Yet despite the scandalous revelations, the latest report provided more incriminating evidence to support claims that a state-sponsored program existed, and operated from as early as 2011.
“WADA is grateful to Richard McLaren, his team, and other contributors that, together, helped provide us with a fact-based path forward today as it relates to allegations and other information provided by Dr. Rodchenkov,” said Sir Craig Reedie, President, WADA. “Shamefully, the McLaren Report corroborates the allegations, exposing a modus operandi of serious manipulation of the doping control process in the satellite laboratory set up in Sochi for the 2014 Games; and, the Moscow laboratory since 2011 and after the Sochi Games.
“Not only does the evidence implicate the Russian Ministry of Sport in running a doping system that’s sole aim was to subvert the doping control process, it also states that there was active participation and assistance of the Federal Security Service and the Center of Sports Preparation of National Teams of Russia.”
While Putin is confident that the latest round of investigations will validate his claims of Kremlin innocence, he admits that Russia was in fact dealing with a doping problem.
“Just like in any other country, the problem is with doping. We must admit it, recognize it, and do everything to prevent any performance-enhancing drugs.”