Putin says Russia never had state-sponsored doping program

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a news conference at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, January 17, 2017. REUTERS/Sergei Ilnitsky/Pool/File Photo

KRASNOYARSK, Russia (Reuters) - Russia has never had a state-sponsored doping program, President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday, after the association of National Anti-Doping Organisations (NADOs) called for a temporary blanket ban on Russia from international sport.

“In Russia we never had, don’t have, and I hope won’t have a state-sponsored doping program. On the contrary, there will only be a fight against doping,” said Putin, in televised remarks during a visit to the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk.

Putin said there had however been individual instances of sports doping in Russia in the past, which he said showed the current system wasn’t working. A new doping control system was being put together, he said.

The association of National Anti-Doping Organisations (NADOs) in January called for a blanket ban on Russia from all international sport until the country could demonstrate it has installed and embraced a credible anti-doping system.

Reporting by Denis Pinchuk; Writing by Aleksandar Vasovic; Editing by Andrew Osborn