Vladimir Putin: “We ourselves are largely to blame for the doping situation”

On 20 December, the traditional New Year’s Eve meeting of the President of the Russian Federation with representatives of the Russian and foreign media took place. One of the issues raised during the meeting was the fight against doping. On this subject, Vladimir Putin answered the following.

– We ourselves are largely to blame for the situation that has arisen because the use of doping did take place.

But it’s a different kettle of fish when they insist that it was done at the government level. This is not true, it has never happened, it doesn’t and will never exist because we must think not only about the results, which, of course, is of interest and importance, but we must also think about our athletes’ health.

But since these facts did take place, we should, firstly, admit it and, secondly, we should say that it is our fault, which means that we failed to properly organise the work on the fight against doping. But this is exactly the fault of the organisations and government agencies who should have been doing this work more thoroughly.

As for whether we are now free from it or not – probably, not 100 percent. An enormous amount of work has been done, and a good base is now in place to carry out work at a proper level, organise it properly and create the necessary quality.

But it is not just our problem – doping is used all over the world. But we should strive to reduce it to zero, this is what we should strive for.

Currently, a WADA commission is on a visit to our country, and talks are underway with our Ministry of Sport, including in relation to the investigation of the available materials. I hope that the element of politicisation, – and you are right, it, of course, also exists, – will be completely eliminated within this sphere.