Vladimir Putin questions McLaren report and credibility of "notorious" witness

The Russian president said that the Olympic movement was also on the verge of collapse

Russian president Vladamir Putin has question the legitimacy of a report released today which exposes state-sponsored doping of Russian athletes.

In a statement published by the Kremlin, Putin said that there was no place for doping in sport as it was a threat to the health of the athletes.

He went on, however, to attack the credibility of the witness, Grigory Rodchenkov, from which these allegations and the subsequent report has stemmed. 

"The accusations against Russia’s athletes are based on information given by one single person, an individual with a notorious reputation," the statement read. "Criminal charges were opened against him in 2012 for violating anti-doping laws, but there was not enough evidence against him at that moment and the case was dropped."

An independent commission report, led by Canadian law professor Richard McLaren, published today revealed evidence of widespread state-sponsored doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

The report says that the Russian sports ministry "directed, controlled and oversaw" manipulation and tampering of urine samples provided by athletes.

McLaren said that the report's key findings proves have been proven "beyond reasonable doubt"  and insisted he had "unwavering confidence" in the report.

"Today, we see a dangerous return to a policy of letting politics interfere with sport. Yes, this intervention takes different forms today, but the essence remains the same; to make sport an instrument for geopolitical pressure and use it to form a negative image of countries and peoples," Putin said referring to past boycotts of the Moscow and Los Angeles Olympics.

"The result was that many Soviet and American athletes and athletes from other countries were caught up in this campaign of reciprocal boycotts and lost the chance to add their names to world sporting history. Their years of long and hard effort and training were in vain

"The Olympic movement, which is a tremendous force for uniting humanity, once again could find itself on the brink of division.

"Today, so-called ‘doping scandals’ are the method used, attempts to apply sanctions for detected cases of doping to all athletes, including those who are ‘clean’, supposedly to protect their interests."

You can read the full statement here.

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