'We have committed a sin', says Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev amid doping row
Russia faces the possibility to be barred from all sporting competitions including the Tokyo 2020 after a key WADA committee recommended a four-year ban on the country.
Amid doping row, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Thursday admitted that the country has committed a sin and urged the authorities to get tougher on doping problems.
Russia faces the possibility of being banned from all sporting competitions including the Tokyo 2020 after a key World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) committee recommended a four-year ban on the country for manipulating laboratory data.
In an annual televised question-and-answer session with TV journalists, Medvedev said that Russia should get serious about rooting out cheats.
"We do have a problem with doping and this is unacceptable," he said.
"We should adopt a tougher line on this matter, towards those taking the decisions on the use of these substances."
"Here we have committed a sin," he acknowledged, while adding "Are other countries without sin?"
Medvedev argued that athletes should not be punished for the mistakes of others while calling the Russian doping scandal an "endless anti-Russian TV series."
WADA is set to meet on Monday in Lausanne for the crucial executive committee meeting to discuss the recommended four-year ban.
WADA’s Compliance Review Committee (CRC) called for the proposed sanctions after the Russian Anti Doping Agency (RUSADA) was found to be non-compliant after the data handed over by the tainted Moscow laboratory was found to be "neither complete nor fully authentic".
The full disclosure of data was a key condition of Russia’s reinstatement in 2018 after a nearly three-year-long ban which was followed by the revelation of vast state-supported doping programs in the country.
The four-year ban was one of the several "strong proposed consequences" by CRC over Russia which is to start "on the date on which the decision that Rusada is non-compliant becomes final".
RUSADA’s chief Yury Ganus said last week that he expected WADA to uphold the recommendations as “that’s the reality”.
The recommendations are the latest in Russia’s doping saga which is being dragged since 2015 which found more than 1000 Russian athletes being benefited from the state-supported doping program in the period of 2011-2015, a period that included 2014 winter Olympics that were held in Russia.