"Had we had any clues that he [the Russian president] was involved, we would have tried… In the report, we note that we could not determine that Putin knew about the incidents," International Olympic Committee (IOC) Disciplinary Commission's Chair and former Swiss President Samuel Schmid said in an interview with the Watson.ch media outlet when asked whether the commission had tried to contact Vladimir Putin personally.
The statement comes after the IOC Executive Board suspended the Russian National Olympic Committee over "systematic manipulation" of the anti-doping system, while allowing "clean" Russian athletes to compete in the 2018 Games under the Olympic Flag.
Moscow has reacted to the announcement, with Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) chief Alexander Zhukov saying that the most important conclusion is the confirmation that there was no state doping support in Russia. For his part, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated, "The decision [on Russia's participation] has not been made yet because, as the president stated yesterday while giving his assessment of the situation around the IOC, there are still a lot of unclear questions: how, according to which criteria the IOC will invite our athletes, how all this will happen."
In response to the report by Richard McLaren, the head of WADA's independent commission, claiming that the Russian anti-doping agency was part of an alleged doping cover-up by the state, Putin has repeatedly reaffirmed that there is no state-run doping scheme in Russia and emphasized that the country is working to solve the issues related to doping by athletes.