Russia says doping cover-up stories are silly revenge
09 June 2016, 19:23
Nairobi (Reuters) - Russian Sports Minister
Vitaly Mutko said allegations he had helped cover up a top footballer's
positive doping test were silly and that he and Russia were being
smeared as payback for winning the right to host the 2018 World Cup.
Mutko, who is battling to end a doping scandal that has placed a
question mark over Russian athletes' right to compete at the 2016 Rio
Olympics, was responding to allegations against him made by German
public broadcaster ARD/WDR.
The German broadcaster, whose reports led to the suspension of
Russia's track-and-field athletes, said an alleged internal sports
ministry e-mail exchange discussing a footballer's failed test said the
matter should be forwarded to 'VL'.
That, it said, referred to Vitaly Leontiyevich Mutko.
"Initials could be interpreted in a different way," Mutko was
quoted as saying on Thursday by the TASS new agency. "How could I help
to hide this? Destroy it myself? This is silly stuff, unconvincing."
After being suspended by the International Association of
Athletics Federations (IAAF) last year, Russia is trying to convince
sports authorities it is serious about rooting out cheats in time for
the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in August.
The IAAF will decide whether Russia has done enough to have the ban overturned at a meeting in Vienna on June 17.