Putin accuses U.S. of election meddling over Russian doping allegations

President Vladimir Putin is indicating a recent flurry of Russian sports doping allegations could be an American effort to intervene in next year’s Russian presidential election.

On Thursday, four Russian cross-country skiers were found guilty of doping in the 2014 Sochi Olympics. In all, six Russian skiers have been found guilty by an International Olympics Committee commission.

Putin noted that international sports organizations have a intricate skein of “relationships and dependencies.” He explained “and the controlling stake is in america,” where patrons and television broadcasters are focused.

“In response to our alleged interference in their elections, they would like to create problems during the election of the president of Russia,” he said Thursday.

Putin hasn’t announced whether he’ll run for another term in the March 18 election.

Russian officials have always denied involvement in attempts to interfere with or affect last year’s U.S. presidential election, for example, hacking of Democratic National Committee emails. They also deny complaints that the Kremlin-funded Sputnik news bureau and the RT satellite tv station act as government propaganda arms.

In turn, they’ve alleged that U.S. private businesses effectively behave based on Washington directives.

After Twitter last month prohibited advertisements by RT and Sputnik, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova claimed that the transfer was because of pressure from U.S. intelligence services.

She explained retaliatory measures would be taken, but none have surfaced. On Thursday, she said “symmetrical measures” would follow if the U.S. limits Russian media actions.

The Russian Cross-Country Ski Federation said Thursday that four cross-country skiers in the Sochi Olympics have been disqualified from the International Olympic Committee and banned from all future Olympics.

They include Maxim Vylegzhanin, Alexei Petukhov, Yulia Ivanova and Evgenia Shapovalova. Vylegzhanin won three championships in Sochi, but none of the others won a trophy.

Six Russian cross-country skiers have now been found guilty of doping in the Sochi Olympics by an IOC commission.

Courtesy: The Globe And Mail