MOSCOW. — Russia’s sports minister yesterday shuffled off blame over allegations in a German documentary that the country is still violating strict anti-doping criteria as it struggles to overturn a ban before the Rio Olympics.
“The imposition of sanctions on specific people and checking on their application is the job of the relevant anti-doping agencies, not the state,” the minister, Vitaly Mutko, said in a statement.
“To talk about the responsibility of the state in the case of every individual violation is impossible,” the statement said.
“If people are guilty then they will be punished in accordance with the rules.”
Russian athletes face an uphill battle to be allowed to compete at the Rio Olympics from August 5-21 after a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) independent commission alleged widespread corruption and doping in the country’s athletics.
The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and WADA outlined a strict reinstatement criteria, including severing ties with Russian athletics officials, officers or staff with any past involvement in doping.
But a 30-minute documentary by German broadcaster ARD/WDR screened on Sunday, gives new evidence of Russian athletes and coaches violating the strict IAAF and WADA regulations.
According to the German documentary, a suspended coach has been identified continuing to work with athletes in an isolated Russian province, wh.ile another named trainer is still distributing doping substances. — AFP.