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Russia will never admit doping, prime minister says

IOC Russian Doping

FILE - In this Feb. 18, 2014, file photo, a Russian skating fan holds the country’s national flag over the Olympic rings before the start of the men’s 10,000-meter speedskating race at Adler Arena Skating Center during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Russia could be banned from competing at the Pyeongchang Olympics. The decision will come on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017 when the International Olympic Committee executive board meets in Lausanne, less than nine weeks before the games open on Feb. 9 in South Korea. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)

AP

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said the state will never acknowledge the accusation of state-sponsored doping that led to the Russia Olympic Committee’s ban from the Pyeongchang Olympics because it considers it false.

Medvedev, speaking at the Cabinet session on Thursday, said, “We can’t and will not acknowledge false conclusions.”

He also argued that the International Olympic Committee decision on Tuesday to ban the Russia team from the Winter Games in South Korea for anti-doping violations at the Sochi Olympics had political underlining.

Medvedev said the move was taken in order to influence public opinion in Russia ahead of the March 18 presidential election.

After President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that Russia won’t boycott the Olympics, Medvedev says the Cabinet will support Russians who want to compete as neutral athletes at the Winter Games in February.

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