Moscow, May 13 (IANS) The Kremlin on Friday rubbished as “groundless” a New York Times report that accused Russian athletes of taking part in a state-funded doping programme during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia’s Sochi.
The New York Times on Thursday published a report quoting statements by the former head of Moscow’s anti-doping laboratory Grigory Rodchenkov, who claimed that at least 15 Russian medal-winners at Sochi Winter Olympics were part of a state-run doping programme designed to enhance their performance, reports Xinhua.
Rodchenkov resigned last November after the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) accused him of involvement in the widespread doping among Russian athletes and corruption involving sports officials.
“I would say that these statements seem completely vociferous and aren’t based on any sort of information deserving trust and are not backed by any sort of argumentation,” said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.
“This simply looks like, you know, defamation by a defector or something like that. I wouldn’t trust these types of loud statements,” Peskov commented.
On Thursday, Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko also dismissed the New York Times report as “absurd”, adding that a detailed official response was yet to come.
The Russian authorities have promised to carry out a clean-up program to fulfil WADA’s anti-doping demands and ensure Russian athletes would be allowed to participate in the 2016 Rio Olympics.