10 Dec 2019 16:29

Situation surrounding WADA sanctions 'unpleasant' - Peskov

MOSCOW. Dec 10 (Interfax) - The decision of the World Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA) Executive Committee to suspend Russian athletes from competing in international events is unpleasant for Russia, but the country intends to continue defending its interests and the interests of its athletes, Russian presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov said.

"This is certainly an unpleasant situation. At the same time, there are mechanisms for defending our rights, defending our rights as a country and defending the rights of our athletes. These mechanisms must be engaged," Peskov told journalists on Tuesday when asked whether the Kremlin believes that the doping scandal undermines trust in Russia as a sporting nation.

He said he believes the primary task is ensuring that Russian athletes do not bear collective responsibility regardless of whether they are to blame for violating anti-doping regulations or not.

"The most important thing is our athletes and the interests of our athletes, ensuring that they compete, maintain their qualifications, and fully participate in international competitions no matter what. The most important thing is preventing collective responsibility from infringing the interests of our athletes in some way. The rest is secondary," Peskov said.