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Putin slams WADA ban as ‘politically biased collective punishment’ of Russian athletes

Putin slams WADA ban as ‘politically biased collective punishment’ of Russian athletes
Russian President Vladimir Putin condemned the World Anti-Doping Agency decision to bar his country from world sporting events, arguing it was motivated by “political bias,” and urged against “collective punishment” for athletes.

Though Russia is still considering how to respond to WADA’s decision, it has “all legal grounds” to appeal the move, President Putin told reporters at the Normandy Four summit in Paris on Monday, after the anti-doping agency announced a four-year ban prohibiting Russians from competing in major events under their national flag.

“The key thing, and everyone is in agreement here, any punishment has to be individual, has to be targeted based on what a particular individual has done. We can’t have collective punishment,” Putin continued.

We cannot punish people who have nothing to do whatsoever with violations.

The ban – which also prohibits Russia from hosting international sporting events – came after WADA alleged manipulation in doping test results at a laboratory in Moscow. Putin questioned whether the decision was really about “clean athletes,” suggesting it was driven by “political bias that has nothing to do with the Olympic movement and sports.”

Also on rt.com No flag, no anthem: What the WADA ban means for Russia

While WADA’s decision will prevent Russians from representing their country in next summer’s Olympics in Tokyo, among other major events, individual athletes will still be able to participate as “neutral” competitors, without their national flag or anthem.

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