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Wednesday, January 11, 2017, 17:24

Russia defends record over calls for wide-ranging doping ban

By Associated Press
Russia defends record over calls for wide-ranging doping ban
In this Dec 25, 2015 file photo Vitaly Mutko gestures during a news conference in Moscow, Russia. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin, File)

MOSCOW — Russia's top state sports official has claimed his country is "among the cleanest in the world" after a group of anti-doping leaders called for the nation's teams to be excluded from all international competitions.

Following a summit this week, leaders from 19 national anti-doping organizations also called for Russia to be stripped of the right to host major sports events; a measure which would hit next year's World Cup.

Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko, who oversees sports policy, accused the agencies of meddling in politics and said they "should be analyzing urine" instead, in comments to Russian agency R-Sport.

Mutko said "Russian sports are among the cleanest in the world" because the British anti-doping agency had handled tests since its Russian counterpart was suspended following allegations of corruption.

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