Russian politician Igor Lebedev hopes United States president-elect Donald Trump will “put an end” to the latest accusations of state-sponsored doping made by the McLaren report.
On Friday, Professor Richard McLaren released more findings from his independent investigation, commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Authority [WADA], into alleged widespread use of performance-enhancing drugs and the manipulation of test results in Russia in recent years.
McLaren has claimed more than 1000 athletes were involved in or benefited from the program since 2011, which skewed the results of the London 2012 Olympics on an unprecedented scale.
However, the latest findings have been rejected by several prominent figures in Russian politics and sport, including senior Liberal Democratic Party figure Lebedev.
“It was expected that there would be no evidence, there will be another false stream of baseless accusations,” he was quoted as saying by Sport Express.
“All this only shows that they have no facts and no evidence. Believe me, if they had been, the fight would be on a completely different level and more serious … we hope that all Russians’ favourite Mr Trump [will] put an end to this.”
Valery Gazzaev, the deputy chair of Russian Federation State Committee for Physical Culture, Sport and Tourism, told RIA Novosti: “I think this is political pressure through sport. This has been going on at full throttle since May or June. There is no sign of objectivity.”
Natalia Gart, president of the Russian Luge Federation, meanwhile was also quoted by RIA Novosti as saying: “How can anyone logically and sensibly accept claims which do not contain a single confirmed fact or a single name?
“The McLaren report published today is not confirmed by anything again. Where are the facts? You can say this is nothing but rubbish.
“I am convinced that all of our athletes are clean and the silver medals that we won at the Sochi Olympics are well deserved.”
While also sceptical, the vice-president of the Russian Olympic Committee Stanislav Pozdnyakov did at least claim McLaren’s latest revelations warrant examination.
“There’s nothing new in what I’ve seen so far,” he was quoted as saying by TASS.
“Same old accusations and conclusions based on one man’s words. But still we’ll need to look at this document more closely. The strange thing about it is that it doesn’t name any names.”