STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

President Vladimir Putin says US plotted doping scandal to swing Russian vote

Putin accused the US of inventing doping allegations against Russian athletes to influence next year's presidential election.

Published: 09th November 2017 08:52 PM  |   Last Updated: 09th November 2017 09:46 PM   |  A+A-

Russian president Vladimir Putin | AP

By AFP

MOSCOW: President Vladimir Putin on Thursday accused the United States of inventing doping allegations against Russian athletes to influence next year's presidential election, which he is widely expected to contest and win.

"In response to our alleged interference in their election, they want to create problems for the election of the president of Russia," Putin said in the Urals city of Chelyabinsk.

Putin has not said whether he will contest the March election but few analysts say they believe he will pass up the chance to extend his Kremlin term to 2024.

"Here is what worries me: the Olympics start in February, and when are our presidential elections? In March," Putin told workers during a visit to a factory.

"There is a strong suspicion that this is all happening in order to create a situation useful to some, one of disappointment for sports followers and sportsmen in which the state allegedly participated in violations," he said.

Putin spoke ahead of a trip to Vietnam, where he will take part in an APEC summit and is expected to meet US President Donald Trump.

Relations between Russia and the United States have plummeted as a Washington probe has accused Trump's former campaign aides of secretly meeting Kremlin-connected officials.

Russia has denied allegations of interfering in the US election last year that brought Trump to power.

- 'Declaration of war' - 
Putin spoke after the Russian Cross-Country Ski Federation announced on Thursday that four Russian cross-country skiers were found guilty of doping by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

The federation said that Alexei Petukhov, Evgenia Shapovalova, Maxim Vylegzhanin and Yulia Ivanova were stripped of their medals won in Sochi in 2014 and banned for life from the Olympics.

Petukhov told the Russian sports news agency R-Sport that the decision was a "declaration of war".

"I will fight until the end. This is a violation of all human rights," Petukhov said. 

Last week, Russian cross-country skier Alexander Legkov was stripped of his Olympic 50-kilometre title after the IOC found him guilty of doping.

Putin said last month the United States had put indirect pressure on the IOC to block Russia from the 2018 Winter Games in South Korea.

An explosive 2016 report commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency alleged state-sponsored doping in Russia from 2011 to 2015. 

The investigation said the cheating peaked at the 2014 Winter Olympics in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, where Russian secret agents engineered an elaborate system of doping. 

Russia has denied any state-sponsored system of doping. 

"Russia never had and, I hope, will never have a system of state doping of which we are being accused," Putin said Thursday. 



Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

IPL_2020
flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp