MOSCOW, Nov. 10 ( Andrew V. Pestano ) — Russia dismissed accusations of a systemic culture of state-sponsored doping among its sports programs and calls for the country to be banned from international sport.
Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, said the accusations are “groundless.”
“The point is that if some accusations are voiced they should be substantiated by some evidence,” Peskov told journalists Tuesday. “No evidence has been announced so far, it is difficult to accept any accusations.”
Vadim Zelichenok, acting head of the Russian Athletics Federation, said there were “fresh facts” in the report by the World Anti-Doping Agency and that past issues with doping had been resolved.
WADA’s 335-page report released Monday described a “deeply rooted culture of cheating at all levels” similar to that of East Germany in the 1970s, and recommended that Russia be suspended from international track and field events.
WADA also suspended the accreditation of a Moscow laboratory where samples are sent for dope testing. The laboratory, where work has now stopped, is accused of destroying hundreds of samples.
Richard Pound, co-author of the report, said WADA, an independent organization, would encourage the International Olympic Committee to bar the Russian Athletics Federation from the upcoming 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
The report details the involvement of athletes, trainers, coaches, doctors and testing laboratories in concealing payments to compromise doping tests, including those undergone at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. It accused the Russian government of complicity.
It also notes “corruption and bribery practices at the highest levels of international athletics” and explains that the international police organization Interpol was involved in the research and will engage in further investigation.
About 12 percent of drug violations in international sport in 2013, the last year of complete statistics, involved Russian athletes, far more than from any other country.
Ed Adamczyk contributed to this report.