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Russian Sports Minister Denies Covering Up Doping Scandal

Russia's sports minister has denied the Kremlin was involved in any cover-up of doping among Russian athletes.

Vitaly Mutko said on December 23 that such accusations were unfounded.

In November, Russia's track and field federation was suspended after a World Anti-Doping Agency panel accused the country of operating a widespread, state-sponsored doping program and covering up positive tests.

Mutko said that "to blame such a country as Russia that we, on an absolute government level, are covering something up is impossible."

He said individual athletes should take responsibility for staying clean, adding the government "cannot sleep together with each of the athletes."

"How can I control them? What can I do to them? It's silly, don't you understand?" Mutko asked.

Based on reporting by AP