Interfax: Tragic events associated with informers in Russia, this institution must not migrate from sports to other spheres – Putin

Olympic Rings Lit at Night, adapted from image at state.gov

KRASNODAR. May 23 (Interfax) – Russian President Vladimir Putin has called for treating the idea of introducing an institution of informers into Russian sports with extreme caution, recalling that tragic events are associated with this phenomenon in the Russian history.

Speaking at the presidential council on physical training and sports on Tuesday, Putin warned against this institution the creation which is encouraged by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) migrating to other spheres of life.

“We know that WADA firmly supports the idea on adopting and implementing measures in development of the so-called institution of informers. It has a special resonance for our country. We are well aware that the tragic pages in the history of our country are, unfortunately, associated with such an institution. Stalin’s mass political purges are associated with this institution,” Putin said.

“This is of a crucial importance for us. If WADA insists on this, okay, but it’s very important for us that this institution must not gradually migrate to other spheres of our life. I would like to draw your attention to this,” the Russian president said.

“It should be treated very cautiously, carefully,” Putin said.

The president pointed out that the provision on development of the institution of informers is included in the plan on countering doping in sports which had been presented by Vitaly Smirnov, the head of the Independent Public Anti-Doping Commission, at the council’s meeting.

“If WADA insists on this, I understand the people who had developed this plan,” Putin said, urging to bear in mind, “the main, noble goal, to which this work and this [anti-doping] plan are dedicated, ensuring that the Russian sports are clean.”

“This is certainly the task number one,” Putin said.

[featured image is file photo]