Moscow, April 5 (IANS) Russia on Tuesday urged that politics be kept out of sport and the Olympic Games in particular amid the ongoing doping scandal involving dozens of its athletes.
“We have always insisted that sports and particularly the Olympic Games should be totally depoliticised,” the presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, commenting on a Newsweek article suggesting that Russia be banned from the 2016 Rio Olympic Games due to its aggressive policies and involvement in the doping scandal.
James Nixey, head of Russia and Eurasia Programme at the London-based think tank Royal Institute of International affairs, published an article in the Newsweek magazine under the title “A ban from Rio 2016 would humiliate Russia after the doping scandal”, reports Xinhua.
In the article, Nixey called Russia “the world’s worst offender across sport with a state-sponsored doping programme,” adding that Russia’s self-confidence “boosted after self-proclaimed successes in Ukraine and Syria” should be curtailed.
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) accused Russia in November 2015 of large-scale breaching of international anti-doping regulations and suggested banning the country’s athletes from international competitions.
Russia has promised to support all measures by WADA and the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) on the reform of All-Russia Athletic Federation in order to prevent the ban, which could keep the country from participating in the Olympic Games in Brazil.
However, a new scandal erupted when a bunch of Russian athletes tested positive for using meldonium, a drug included in WADA’s banned list from this year.