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WADA Informant’s Allegations Against Putin, Russia Groundless – Kremlin

© AP Photo / Felipe DanaA lab technician checks samples to be tested for doping
A lab technician checks samples to be tested for doping - Sputnik International
MOSCOW(Sputnik) - The allegations of World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) informant and former head of the Moscow Anti-Doping Laboratory Grigory Rodchenkov against Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russia, in general, are groundless, it is nothing but a lie, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Monday.

“Such insinuations and statements of a person who, even in a show can be seen with the naked eye as a person suffering from psychological, and maybe even mental problems, can hardly be taken seriously. I can only say that, of course, any accusations against our country on this issue are groundless, especially the statements he made about President Putin are nothing more than lies,” Peskov told reporters.

At the same time, Rodchenkov, who appeared on CBS Scott Pelley's 60 Minutes program tha day before, alleged that over 20 countries were practicing doping in their respective sports programs, in an interview with the CBS broadcaster.

"Twenty plus… For sure," Rodchenkov told CBS broadcaster, when asked how many countries were doping on Scott Pelley's 60 Minutes program, which aired on Sunday.

Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR) parade during the opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at the Pyeongchang Stadium on February 9, 2018 - Sputnik International
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The WADA informant claimed that there would always be people who are "cheaters by their natures" and strive to win by any means and that these are human "sins" that have nothing to do with sports.

Rodchenkov, who had said that he helped develop and distribute banned performance-enhancing substances for Russian Olympians, told the channel that he felt sorry for his actions.

"Now it's a big-- big problem, and I am sorry to creating such problem because of my experience and knowledge… Now it's effective and working, and it's not my contribution to fight against doping. Absolutely not," Rodchenkov said.

Rodchenkov, who has been living in the United States under the witness protection program since 2016 and underwent plastic surgery, asked CBS to change his appearance for the interview and provide him with a bulletproof vest, alleging that he knew his life was "in jeopardy."

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Rodchenkov's claims about the alleged state-run doping program in the Russian sports triggered a massive scandal, which resulted in sanctions against Russian athletes. This included depriving many of them of medals won at the 2014 Sochi Olympics and banning the Russian national team from the 2018 Winter Games in South Korea.

READ MORE: Russia May Initiate Reforms of WADA, IOC After 2018 Games — Lower House

Russian officials have strongly refuted the accusations of running the doping program but acknowledged that the country's athletics has some problems with doping that are being tackled now. Russia's Investigative Committee has been conducting a criminal investigation into the activities of Rodchenkov, who is accused of abuse of power and destruction of doping probes of Russian athletes.

Russian athletes are competing in the Winter Olympics — which kicked off last week — under the Olympic flag. The country's athletes were allowed to participate only if cleared by the International Olympic Committee. As a result, 168 Russian athletes are competing in this year's Games.

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