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Putin Says Russia's Anti-Doping System Failed, Again Denies State Role

Russian President Vladimir Putin (center) and Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko visit the Academy of Biathlon in Krasnoyarsk on March 1.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has declared that the country's anti-doping efforts "failed," but reiterated his claim that it has never had a state-sponsored system for using banned substances to boost performance in sports.

Putin's remarks in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk on March 1 were in line with previous comments by Russian officials about the issue.

A December report for the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) said that Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) and Sports Ministry were involved in mass doping of Russian athletes.

It revealed that hundreds of Russian athletes in some 30 sports used banned drugs at the 2012 London Olympics, the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, and other competitions.

"The Russian system to prevent doping failed, and that is our fault," Putin said. "We have to say that openly and accept that...thoroughly investigate the problem and punish those responsible."

But he said that "Russia has never had...a state system supporting doping."

Based on reporting by TASS, Reuters, and Interfax