Distrust, anger grip Rus­sian sports ahead of key dop­ing

Daily Times (Primos, PA) - - SPORTS - — The As­so­ci­ated Press

ST. PETERS­BURG, RUS­SIA » As it edges closer to a ban from the Win­ter Olympics, the Rus­sian sports world is a bit­ter place.

In­ves­ti­ga­tions into dop­ing haven’t en­cour­aged Rus­sian ath­letes to speak out about abuses. In­stead, there is a pub­lic hunt for whistle­blow­ers, or “traitors to the moth­er­land,” as cross-coun­try ski fed­er­a­tion pres­i­dent Ye­lena Valbe calls them.

Mean­while, Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin has claimed the In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee — which will make the fi­nal rul­ing on Rus­sia’s el­i­gi­bil­ity — is be­ing ma­nip­u­lated by shad­owy U.S. in­ter­ests in­tent on us­ing dop­ing scan­dals to dis­grace his gov­ern­ment ahead of elec­tions in March.

Ahead of that IOC rul­ing, Rus­sian of­fi­cials face two days of World Anti-Dop­ing Agency meet­ings this week which will help de­ter­mine Rus­sia’s Olympic fu­ture.

For­mally, the is­sue on the ta­ble is the sta­tus of Rus­sia’s drug-test­ing agency, not Olympic par­tic­i­pa­tion.

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