Olympic boycott ruled out, Russians to admit some wrongdoing
With an Olympic boycott ruled out, Russia is planning to, at least, partially admit it has a doping problem
Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko told The Associated Press yesterday that there will "not in any case" be a boycott of next year's Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
A short time later in a separate interview, the acting president of the Russian track federation told the AP he is ready to own up to some of the charges levelled in the World Anti-Doping Agency commission's massive report on doping in the country.
"We admit some things, we argue with some things, some are already fixed, it's a variety," said Vadim Zelichenok, declining to provide further details. "It's not for the press."
The governing body of track and field is expected to rule today on whether to suspend Russia from competition because of the doping scandal. If Russia is banned, the country's track and field team could be excluded from next year's Olympics.
Monday's damning report by the WADA commission recommended that the Russian track federation be suspended, saying its athletes and officials were involved in "extensive" use of performance-enhancing drugs, obstructed doping tests and helped to cover up drug use. The report said Zelichenok "refused to cooperate" with investigators.
Even if Russia's track and field team is banned, Mutko told the AP that the country has no intention of boycotting the Olympics.
"Russia is against a boycott. Russia is against political interference in sport," Mutko said. "Understand that Russia is a dependable partner of the international Olympic movement."
Mutko also appealed for Russia's track team to be allowed to compete, arguing that a blanket ban would unfairly punish clean athletes.