Russia hits back at ‘political’ doping ban threat
MOSCOW: Russia on Thursday hit back at a proposed four-year ban on the country’s athletes, denouncing accusations of a doping cover-up as a politically motivated attempt to block its athletes from competing.
A committee of the World Anti-Doping Agency on Monday made a bombshell recommendation for Russia to be barred from all sporting competition for four years.It accused Moscow of falsifying laboratory data handed over to investigators as part of a probe into the doping allegations that have plagued Russia for years.
If WADA chiefs adopt the committee’s recommendations at a meeting in Paris on December 9, Russia faces exclusion from key sporting events including the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Speaking to reporters in Moscow on Thursday, foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova accused other nations of pursuing doping claims so they don’t have to face off against Russian athletes. “This is about the politicisation of this issue in order to squeeze Russia out. There is a term for such a thing: unfair competition. This is a battle without rules, maybe even already a war,” she said.