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Russia sports chief: Sochi doping claim ‘speculation’

Russia

SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 07: Bobsleigh racer Alexander Zubkov of the Russia Olympic team carries his country’s flag alongside model Irina Shayk (front) during the Opening Ceremony of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Fisht Olympic Stadium on February 7, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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Russia sports minister Vitaly Mutko dismissed a report that four Sochi Olympic gold medalists were on steroids, calling it “speculation” but not refuting it on Saturday.

A CBS video report to air Sunday includes Russian whistleblower Vitaly Stepanov saying there’s a “Sochi list” of Russian Olympians who were on performance-enhancing drugs while competing at the 2014 Winter Games. The list includes four Sochi gold medalists, according to the report.

CBS News aired a preview of the report Friday night.

Stepanov and his wife previously brought forth evidence of doping in Russian track and field to a German TV station in 2014. Russian track and field has been suspended since November due to its poor anti-doping record, and the ban may last through the Rio Olympics.

“Stepanov is riding his hobby-horse again,” Mutko said Saturday, according to Russian news agency TASS. “His so-called revelations are based on speculations.

“The Olympics in Sochi have ended a long time ago. Not Russia collected doping tests then, and everything was held under very strict control. I don’t know whether we should endlessly refute Stepanov’s [claims]. We will see if there are any legal risks for us, we will think about defense. It’s not the first time.”

The CBS report hasn’t named specific Russian athletes or their sports. Nor does it say any of the athletes failed drug tests.

“What facts does he have, what lists?” Mutko said, according to TASS. “Why did he decide to make another revelation now?”

MORE: Russia track and field Olympic fate gets decision date

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