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19 Dec, 2019 10:29

‘It’s just a method to neutralize strong competitors from Russia’ – Putin on WADA ban

‘It’s just a method to neutralize strong competitors from Russia’ – Putin on WADA ban

Russian President Vladimir Putin has condemned the recent decision by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to impose a four-year ban on the country, stressing that it’s just a way to neutralize the strong competitors from Russia. .

Talking at the annual year-end press conference with media, Putin said the WADA restrictions contradict the Olympic charter and create obstacles to the development of sports by not allowing athletes from Russia to take part in international sporting events

READ MORE: ‘Taking the flag away from clean athletes is not right’: World champ fencer Yakimenko on WADA ban

We have young girls in women’s figure skating, they are still kids.” Putin said, referring to the Russian figure skaters who have been dominating the sport.

Do they have any connection to doping? Absolutely not! They are landing quadruple jumps, something that practically no other skaters are able do in women’s skating. So, now it’s possible to disqualify them, to get them off the ice. Do you think it will help to develop the sport? I don’t think so.”

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Putin also said that WADA’s decision is “unfair” and that athletes cannot be punished twice for the same violation.

I think that this is unfair. WADA’s decision contradicts common sense and international law. A similar decision regarding Russia’s participation under a neutral flag was made at the previous Olympic Games, now they want to punish Russia again for the same violation. No existing legal system allows that,” Putin said.

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A team should not perform under a neutral flag if there are no accusations addressed to the national Olympic Committee. This is written in the Olympic charter. If WADA has no problems with the Russian Olympic Committee, this means that the Russian national team should compete under the national flag.”