NYT: Russia admits doping operation

NYT: Russia admits doping operation

Russian officials for the first time admitted the existence of a doping operation, according to The New York Times. Richard McLaren published a report claiming there has been a state-run doping operation in the country.

The New York Times reported that Russian sports officials for the first time acknowledged the existence of a doping system in the country. Anna Antseliovich, the acting director general of Russia’s national antidoping agency (RUSADA), said in an interview that it was a conspiracy.

“It was an institutional conspiracy,” she said to the newspaper, while emphasizing that the government’s top officials were not involved.

The NYT quoted Vitaly Smirnov, the head of the Independent Anti-doping Commission of the Russian Olympic Committee, who said: “From my point of view, as a former Minister of Sport, President of Olympic Committee — we made a lot of mistakes,” he said. “We have to find those reasons why young sportsmen are taking doping, why they agree to be doped”.

“It’s lucky that the WADA had Rodchenkov [Dr. Grigogy Rodchenkov, WADA's insider and Russia’s former antidoping lab chief],” the newspaper said quoting Victor Berezov, a lawyer for Russia’s Olympic Committee. “Maybe in China, London and everywhere — maybe the same things could happen. Because the system is broken.”

In early December, the second part of Richard McLaren's report on doping among Russian athletes was presented. It stated that the Russians used "a unique cheating scheme" involving over a thousand athletes, as well as Ministry of Sports officials.

Dmitry Peskov, the spokesman for the Russian President, said in a statement that the Kremlin was in the process of studying the report. The Russian Ministry of Sports denied WADA’s allegations that Russia had a state-sponsored doping system in sport. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko said that the report accused Russia of actions that are simply impossible.

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