Russian President Vladimir Putin gives a joint press conference after a summit on Ukraine at the Elysee Palace in Paris, December 9, 2019. Ludovic Marin/Pool via REUTERS
PARIS (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday Moscow had grounds to appeal a decision by the World Anti-Doping Agency to bar Russia from major sporting events, a move he said violated the Olympic charter.
Russia was banned from the world’s top sporting events for four years earlier on Monday, including the next summer and winter Olympics and the 2022 soccer World Cup, for tampering with doping tests.
Putin, who was speaking in Paris after talks with his Ukrainian counterpart, said Russia would analyze a decision he said smacked of politics and was not in the interest of sport.
The doping agency’s executive committee acted after concluding that Moscow had planted fake evidence and deleted files linked to positive doping tests in laboratory data that could have helped identify drug cheats.
The decision was a huge blow to the pride of a nation that has traditionally been a powerhouse in many sports but whose reputation has been tarnished by a series of doping scandals.
Reporting by Christian Lowe; writing by Michel Rose; Editing by Stephen Coates and Rosalba O’Brien