Russia denies state sports doping after fresh revelations

Russia denied it was running any state-sponsored doping schemes, with the sports minister calling for claims of an "institutional conspiracy" voiced Friday to be substantiated.

Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko has said that "it was impossible to do what we are accused of is Sochi."   -  Reuters

Russia denied it was running any state-sponsored doping schemes, with the sports minister calling for claims of an "institutional conspiracy" voiced Friday to be substantiated.

"If there are facts, they will be investigated. But there should be real substantiation for allegations of conspiracy or a state doping programme," minister Vitaly Mutko told TASS news agency.

Investigator Richard McLaren said in a new report for the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) that more than 1,000 Russian athletes in about 30 sports took part in a plan involving Moscow sports ministry officials to use banned drugs at the Sochi and London Olympics and other global events.

Mutko said it "was impossible to do what we are accused of in Sochi," adding that the Olympic Games are overseen by international sports bodies and that "everything was under control of WADA and the IOC."

"The Russian sports ministry with full responsibility states there are no government programmes to support doping in sport," his ministry said in a separate statement, adding that it "will continue the fight against doping with zero tolerance". The ministry said it would "carefully study the information contained in the report with the aim of coming up with a constructive position".

The allegations are the latest body blow to Russian sport, which is still trying to shrug off the damage from an earlier report by McLaren that accused it of state-run doping and the exclusion last year of its track and field athletes from international competition.

Russian athletes were also banned from the Rio Olympics this summer. Moscow has consistently denied the existence of any government-run scheme to cheat its way to medal glory and says it is doing all it can to reform its doping control system in a bid to crack down on drug use.