Kremlin says Russia remains ‘open to cooperation’ on doping

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The Kremlin on Wednesday said Russia regrets a proposed four-year blanket ban for the country’s athletes over doping but will remain open to cooperation.

“This is definitely concerning information. We regret this,” President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists.

In the Kremlin’s first reaction to anti-doping watchdog WADA’s compliance review committee’s recommendations issued Monday, he stressed that Moscow was open to cooperation with international authorities

“You know the Russian sporting authorities have been, are and will remain as open as possible to cooperation and collaboration with the international sporting community and also with WADA,” he said.

If WADA chiefs adopt the review committee’s recommendations, Russia faces exclusion from key sporting events including the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The doping scandal has tainted Russia’s sporting reputation for the last five years, after revelations of large-scale state-sponsored doping aimed at improving Russia’s medal performance at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Monday’s call from the World Anti-Doping Agency’s review panel came after Russian authorities were accused of falsifying laboratory data related to the country’s doping scandal, which were handed over to investigators in January.

Peskov said news of the possible ban was “far from joyful for us,” but Moscow would await the final decision on the proposed ban by WADA’s executive committee on December 9 before making an assessment.

Concerning the tainted data, Peskov insisted Russia had provided “detailed explanations” to WADA of the inconsistencies it found.