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Vladimir Putin denies presence of state-sponsored doping programme

"There is no support for doping at the state level and there cannot be any," Xinhua news agency quoted Putin as saying at the annual St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.

Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin  denied the existence of any state-sponsored doping programme in the country amid a series of doping allegations that have battered the country’s sports community.

“There is no support for doping at the state level and there cannot be any,” Xinhua news agency quoted Putin as saying at the annual St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.

He added that Moscow is “categorically against any doping”, and vowed to fight against doping in sport at the state level.

In May, the New York Times published a report claiming that various Russian athletes had used banned substances during the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi under a government-sponsored scheme.

Putin said Russia’s Prosecutor General’s Office and the Investigative Committee are conducting their own investigation into the report.

Meanwhile , It may be recalled that Russian tennis superstar Maria Sharapova , who has been banned by the ITF for banned  drug use, has  appealed her two-year doping ban to the highest court in sports on Tuesday, and an expedited ruling will be issued next month ahead of the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

The Russian tested positive for meldonium at the Australian Open in January, taking it before each match at that tournament even though the substance was banned at the start of 2016.

CAS said both sides agreed to an “expedited procedure” that will allow the court to issue its ruling by July 18, at the latest. So if the suspension is withdrawn, Sharapova would be eligible to compete at the Rio Games, which starts August 5. She has been included in the Russian Tennis team for the Games.

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