President Vladimir Putin says Russia is committed to wiping out doping in sport
By AFP Sport
Last Updated: 22/07/16 3:28pm
President Vladimir Putin says Russia is committed to wiping out doping in a last-ditch attempt to avoid a possible blanket ban from the Olympics over state-sponsored cheating.
"The official position of the Russian authorities - the government, the president and all of us - is that in sport there is not and can be no place for doping," Putin told government ministers.
"To do this, it is obligatory to cooperate as closely as possible with the disciplinary committee of the International Olympic Committee, the World Anti-Doping Agency and the international sports federations," he said.
Putin also ordered Russia's Olympic committee to establish an anti-doping commission to include both Russian and international specialists in an attempt to clean up the country's image.
The IOC's executive board is to hold a conference call on Sunday to discuss barring Russia from the Games over the doping revelations.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Thursday rejected an appeal by Russia's track and field team against a suspension from Rio in a decision seen as a key indicator as the IOC debates whether to kick out the entire Russian team.
But a spokesman for the Kremlin insists a number of 'clean athletes' would be hit by the blanket suspension and has urged the IOC to think again.
"All sportsmen who have not been convicted or are not under suspicion of doping should have the right to compete and that is the decision we are counting on, " said Dmitry Peskov.
The IOC is facing international pressure to act tough on Russia and ban the entire team over bombshell revelations of a state-run doping system.
Fourteen national anti-doping agencies including the United States, Canada and Germany, sent a joint letter to IOC president Thomas Bach on Thursday urging him to ban Russia from Rio.
Officials in Moscow have slammed the decision by CAS to reject its appeal against a ban from the world athletics body IAAF, calling it part of a broader political campaign by the West against Russia.
The suspension of the track and field team already means that star athletes like pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva and hurdler Sergey Shubenkov will not be in Rio.