TV allegations a pack of lies - Russian Athletics chief

Thu Dec 4, 2014 11:55am EST
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By Dmitriy Rogovitskiy

MOSCOW (Reuters) - A German TV documentary alleging widespread doping and cover-ups among Russian track and field competitors contains "a pack of lies", the country's athletics federation president told Reuters on Thursday.

"I can say that there are a pack of lies and it is an unfair account," Valentin Balakhnichev said.

"We are now undertaking a technical assessment concerned with the situation, which everyone here is doing. We know why this campaign against our federation was implemented. I will make a fuller statement on Friday afternoon."

The hour-long program, broadcast by ZDF/ARD on Wednesday, features an undercover video of what it says are Russian athletes and coaches admitting to covering up positive tests.

The video, which has not been seen or verified by Reuters, also alleges corruption and a systematic doping issue among Russian athletes and high-ranking officials.

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) said in a statement that they were "grave allegations".

"An investigation by the IAAF Ethics Commission is already ongoing with respect to some of the allegations," added the IAAF.

"We would like to underline the Ethics Commission is completely independent of the IAAF and has full powers to investigate and issue sanctions when relevant."   Continued...