Russian officials admit existence of doping programme

12:35 • 28.12.16



Russian officials have for the first time admitted the existence of a doping operation which affected some of the world's major competitions, BBC Sport reports.


A report on 9 December claimed more than 1,000 Russians benefited from a doping cover-up between 2011 and 2015.


In interviews with the New York Times, officials acknowledged the program but denied it was state-sponsored.


"It was an institutional conspiracy," said Anna Antseliovich, acting director general of Russia's anti-doping agency.


Vitaly Smirnov, the 81-year-old who has been a leading sports official since the Soviet era and who has been appointed by Russian President Vladimir Putin to reform the anti-doping system, told the New York Times: "I don't want to speak for the people responsible.


"From my point of view, as a former minister of sport, president of Olympic committee - we made a lot of mistakes."


Smirnov also suggested the leaks made by the Fancy Bears - a group of hackers who have released the medical records of several athletes from around the world - showed Russia had not been competing on a level playing field.





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