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Russia shrugs off blame over anti-doping breach

Moscow: Russia's sports minister yesterday shrugged off blame over allegations in a German documentary that the country is still violating anti-doping criteria as it struggles to overturn a ban before the Rio Olympics.

Vitaly Mutko
Vitaly Mutko

"The imposition of sanctions on specific people and checking on their application is the job of the relevant anti-doping agencies, not the state," the minister, Vitaly Mutko, said in a statement.  

"To talk about the responsibility of the state in the case of every individual violation is impossible," the statement said.

"If people are guilty then they will be punished in accordance with the rules." Meanwhile, Russia's athletics federation said it had ordered an internal probe to "analyse all the episodes shown in the film and thoroughly investigate every case".

"We will not allow individual people to cast a shadow over Russian athletics," the federation said in a statement.

Russian athletes face abattle to be allowed to compete at the Rio Olympics from August 5 to 21 after WADA alleged corruption and doping in the country's athletics.

The IAAF and WADA outlined a strict reinstatement criteria, including severing ties with Russian athletics officials, officers or staff with any past involvement in doping.

But a 30-minute documentary by German broadcaster ARD/WDR screened on Sunday, gives new evidence of Russian athletes and coaches violating the strict IAAF and WADA regulations.

According to the documentary, a suspended coach has been identified continuing to work with athletes in a Russian province, while another named trainer is still distributing doping substances.

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