Russia says its biathlon is clean despite Sochi doping investigation

Tue Feb 16, 2016 9:58am EST
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By Jack Stubbs

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's biathlon chief, speaking after the International Biathlon Union (IBU) said it would investigate possible cheating at the 2014 Winter Olympics, said on Tuesday that the winter sport was free of doping in his country.

IBU Vice President James Carrabre said on Monday he was concerned about doping in general at the 2014 Games in Sochi after a report by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) exposed widespread cheating and corruption in Russian athletics.

"The conclusion from the WADA report is that all winter federations who were at the Sochi Olympics should be concerned," Carrabre told Norwegian NRK television. "I am concerned, that is why I will launch an investigation."

Evidence of doping in Sochi would further tarnish Russia's image as a sporting superpower and successful Olympic host nation - a matter of acute national pride.

Russian Biathlon Union President Alexander Kravtsov said he had not been informed about an investigation by WADA or the IBU.

"I can say that now, more than ever, Russian athletes are checked for doping and there are no problems. Our biathlon is clean," Kravtsov was quoted as saying by R-Sport news agency.

Russia's Olympic Committee declined to comment.

Biathlon, a gruelling combination of long-distance skiing and rifle shooting, is one of Russia's most popular winter sports and a symbol of the country's past sporting triumphs.   Continued...

Russia's Anton Shipulin shoots during the men's biathlon 4 x 7.5 km relay at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games February 22, 2014.          REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin (RUSSIA  - Tags: OLYMPICS SPORT BIATHLON)   - RTX19B1J