Russia Anti-Doping Agency says New York Times misquoted director

The newspaper had quoted the agency’s acting head as saying there was institutional conspiracy in Russia.

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Russian Anti-Doping Agency Director General Anna Antseliovich attends interview in Moscow. play

Russian Anti-Doping Agency Director General Anna Antseliovich attends interview in Moscow.

(Thomson Reuters Foundation)
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The Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) on Wednesday accused The New York Times of misquoting its director during a recent interview about allegations of widespread abuse of performance-enhancing drugs among Russian athletes.

The newspaper had quoted the agency’s acting head, Anna Antseliovich, as saying there was “institutional conspiracy” in Russia to gain a competitive edge with doping.

Antseliovich’s comments were “distorted and taken out of context,” RUSADA said in comments carried by state news agency TASS.

The Kremlin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, also questioned the authenticity of the comments, saying he did not consider the article to be the “primary source”.

“The Kremlin categorically denies such doping allegations,’’ Peskov said.

The New York Times reported that a lab director tampered with urine samples and provided athletes with performance-enhancing drugs.

“Members of Russia’s Federal Security Service broke into sample bottles of urine and a deputy sports minister would also order cover-ups of athletes’ use of banned substances,’’ the article said.

Officials in the report denied that the doping campaign was state-sponsored, maintaining it was conducted without the knowledge or approval of President Vladimir Putin.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) recently launched disciplinary proceedings against 28 Russian athletes from the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics over “evidence of manipulation of one or more of their urine samples”.

Earlier this month, independent investigator Richard McLaren confirmed that Russia had duped international sport on an unprecedented scale with over 1,000 athletes implicated in a programme of state-sponsored doping.

“For years, international sports competitions have unknowingly been hijacked by the Russians,’’ McLaren said.

However, the IOC said it would retest all Russian doping samples collected at the London 2012 and the Sochi 2014 Winter Games.