Putin cancels talks with Russian sports leaders

Russian President Putin cancels meeting with Russian sports federation on country’s doping scandal by reason of heavy rain

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

Russian President Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday cancelled talks with Russian sports leaders that were expected to be begin in Sochi on the allegations for the country’s doping scandal.

President Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Russia’s RIA Novosti agency that the meeting was cancelled as a result of poor weather conditions effecting flights in and out of Sochi, where last year’s Winter Olympics were held.

"The decision was taken by the president to continue his working timetable," Peskov stated.

Putin wanted to hold a meeting with Yuri Borzakovsky, the head coach of the Russian Track Federation, about the doping allegations.

Peskov added that Putin would be briefed and could organise another meeting over the doping issue in the city of Mineralnye Vody later on Wednesday, however, it would depend on the weather conditions.

Russia press against penalty for "honest" athletes

The Russian Olympic Committee also announced on Wednesday that Russia wants international athletic organisations not to punish its honest athletes during evaluation on doping practices.

The Committee clarified that it supported the investigation by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the International Olympic Committee in their struggle against doping.

"The Russian Olympic Committee calls ... to take into account the right of honest athletes to participate in international sports competitions, which should not be subject to limitations," the Committee declared in a statement.

An anti-doping commission reported on Monday that Russia could be banned from international athletics following allegations of widespread corruption and collusion and drugs being used in sports with state sponsorship.

The commission established by the WADA found a "deeply rooted culture of cheating" in Russian athletics, stating that Russian state security officials collaborated with, and also identified what it called systematic failures within the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

 A WADA-accredited anti-doping laboratory destroyed 1,417 samples prior to the commission’s inspection. "This was done on a Saturday morning immediately prior to the arrival in Moscow of a WADA audit team," the report said.

IAAF President Sebastian Coe said he was shocked and surprised by the range of reports, which come days after IAAF’s long-time chief, Lamine Diack, was accused by the IAAF of hiding a Russian athlete’s doping violations.

"These are dark days," Coe said.

He gave Russia an ultimatum until the end of the week for Russia to respond to the allegations, and said the IAAF would then decide on the possible punishment.

TRTWorld and agencies