Nagornykh stated that, like every other country, Russia maintained a strict preparation program for the Olympic Games in Sochi. The program had clear goals, transparent means to an end and included a list of potential medalists.
"We worked with a Canadian consulting company which summed up every season's results and estimated how many athletes can potentially win a medal" Nagornykh explained, emphasizing that there is no "doping program" in Russia, as alleged by the US paper.
"There has never been a ‘doping program' in Russian sport. There was no doping prior the Olympics, or during the Olympics, or after," he said, cited by Regnum.
On Thursday, the New York Times published a report citing the former chief of Russia's anti-doping laboratory, Grigory Rodchenkov, who claims that 66 Russian athletes participated in a so-called doping program allegedly launched prior to the Olympic Games in Sochi.
"Our athletes at the Olympics acted fair and square, with dignity…" cross-country skier Alexander Legkov, who won two medals in Sochi, told Russian Match TV. "What doping? He [Rodchenkov] talks about some [doping] cocktails mixed with alcohol, it's nonsense."
Many athletes found the "doping plus alcohol" mix allegations both insulting and ludicrous.
"Athletes drink Chivas before competing? I can't take it seriously," said cross-country skier Sergey Ustiugov, who participated in the Sochi Olympics.
Many condemned the report, noting that it primarily consisted of statements by Rodchenkov that are not supported by fact.
"All this is nonsense, defamation against Russian athletes who performed at the Olympics," said gold medal winner Alexander Zubkov, one whom Rodchenkov accused of doping. "This is unacceptable. I'm not going to discuss this nonsense. If there are facts, we will discuss this."
A third sportsman named in the article, skeleton champion Alexander Tretyakov, said he had never met Rodchenkov.
"All methods are used in such political games. And no one pays attention to the dignity of those who are accused," he said.
According to Nagornykh, the article's authors have not provided a list of athletes included in the alleged doping program, despite a request from the Russian Sports Ministry.