Putin calls for internal investigation into doping allegations

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Russia's President Vladimir Putin has ordered a probe into reports the country's athletics programme is tainted with systematic doping. An independent commission from the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) earlier this week said the country's athletics operated in a culture of corruption and athletes were being subjected to a "state-sponsored" performance enhacing drugs programme. In his first comments addressing the allegations, Putin said Russia needed to launch its own investigation. "I ask the minister of sport and all our colleagues who are linked in one way or another with sport to pay this issue the greatest possible attention," Putin said. He also called for cooperation with international efforts. "It is essential that we conduct our own internal investigation and provide the most open - and I want to underline - the most open professional cooperation with international anti-doping structures." "The battle must be open," said Putin. "A sporting contest is only interesting when it is honest." Russian athletics body has to respond to Wada's report by Friday.

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