Russian doping scandals could be an attempt by US to meddle in elections, Putin says

President Vladimir Putin has suggested that a flurry of Russian sports doping allegations could be an American attempt to interfere in next year’s Russian presidential election.

Today, four Russian cross-country skiers were found guilty of doping at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. In all, six Russian skiers have been found guilty by an International Olympics Committee commission.

Mr Putin noted that international sports organisations have a complex mix of "relationships and dependencies". He said "the controlling stake is in the United States" where sponsors and television broadcasters are concentrated.

"In response to our alleged interference in their elections, they want to create problems during the election of the president of Russia," he said.

Mr Putin has not announced whether he will run for another term in the March 18 election.

Russian officials have consistently denied involvement in efforts to interfere with or influence last year’s US presidential election, including the hacking of Democratic National Committee emails.

They also reject complaints that the Kremlin-funded Sputnik news agency and the RT satellite television channel act as government propaganda arms.

In turn, they have alleged that US private companies effectively act in line with Washington directives.

After Twitter last month banned advertising by RT and Sputnik, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova claimed that the move was due to pressure from US intelligence services.

She said retaliatory measures would be taken, but none have emerged. Speaking today, she said "symmetrical measures" would follow if the US restricts Russian media activities.

The Russian Cross-Country Ski Federation said today that four cross-country skiers at the Sochi Olympics have been disqualified by the International Olympic Committee and banned from all future Olympics.

They include Maxim Vylegzhanin, Alexei Petukhov, Yulia Ivanova and Evgenia Shapovalova. Vylegzhanin won three silver medals in Sochi but none of the others won a medal.

Six Russian cross-country skiers have now been found guilty of doping at the Sochi Olympics by an IOC commission.

AP

More on this topic

Smartphone ban for Russian soldiers

‘Is this what snow looks like in hell?’ Apocalyptic scenes as toxic black snow covers Siberia

Nature versus mankind: Wildlife alert

Mixed reaction from Russian islanders whose town has been invaded by polar bears


More in this Section

Watch: Hundreds of Zenit St Petersburg fans welcome team bus with flare salute

Hillsborough pitch like ‘battleground’ after crush, victim’s mother tells court

Judge to consider lifting ban on naming 16-year-old killer of Alesha MacPhail

Vatican summit on sex abuse focuses on accountability


Lifestyle

Live music review: Chvrches play a blinder at the Olympia

7 ways to manage toddler tantrums, according to an expert

The unlikely leading man: Viggo Mortensen earned his Oscar nomination by being everything a movie star isn’t

Ask Audrey: 'I'm pretending to be from Monkstown, but I'm really just a wan from Turners Cross'

More From The Irish Examiner