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Russia Questions New Doping Report, Pledges Cooperation

Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko
Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko

Russia has hit back at a new report accusing Russian athletes of still failing drug tests and obstructing doping control officers.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) published the report on June 15, ahead of a June 17 decision by the IAAF -- track and field's international governing body -- on whether to readmit Russia in time for the Rio Olympics in August.

In November, Russian track and field athletes were banned after a WADA report highlighted widespread failing in testing.

Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said on June 16 there had been "pressure" on the IAAF.

"We have fulfilled all the criteria, everything that they demanded of us," Mutko told the Interfax news agency. "All the athletes are under control."

Mutko said he would write to WADA’s president to tell him, "If you need government help, inform us, don't wait until the last minute."

Meanwhile, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov called into question the veracity of the WADA report, which also claimed that doping-control officers faced intimidation and threats of expulsion from Russia by security services.

"It's not clear what WADA is basing all this on. There have been allegations where WADA has based its results on concrete tests," Peskov said. "But what are these (latest) allegations based on?"

Based on reporting by AFP, Reuters, and Interfax

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