Putin calls Sochi doping investigation 'necessary'
Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, gestures as he attends a plenary session of the ASEAN - Russia summit in Sochi, Russia, Friday, May 20, 2016. From left back, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Presidential foreign affairs adviser Yury Ushakov. (Yuri Kochetkov/Pool Photo via AP)
The Associated Press
Published Friday, May 20, 2016 12:07PM EDT
MOSCOW - Vladimir Putin welcomed an investigation into Russian doping on Friday and said the country is ready to offer full assistance to the World Anti-Doping Agency.
The Russians have been accused of state-sponsored doping at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
Grigory Rodchenkov, the former head of the Russian anti-doping lab now living in Los Angeles, told The New York Times last week that he ran an organized program for Russian athletes and helped switch tainted samples for clean ones, receiving help from people he believed to be Russian security officers.
The IOC has asked WADA to carry out a full-fledged investigation and plans to retest Sochi samples stored at the lab in Lausanne, Switzerland.
"It's necessary to clear any doubts," Putin said at a news conference in Sochi, where he hosted a summit of Russia and ASEAN countries.
"Sports must be free of doping, it must be honest, there must be honest competition," Putin said. "Only in that case it will be interesting for athletes, as well as millions of fans and spectators."