Anti-doping rule breakers will be harshly punished – Mutko

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

MOSCOW. June 9 (Interfax) – The harshest measures will be taken against those who were caught violating anti-doping rules, Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said.

“If this is established, naturally, we will take the harshest measures against every person. All our correspondence will be examined, and even if anyone participated in this scheme with him [Grigory Rodchenkov, former head of the Moscow Anti-Doping Laboratory] we will verify that,” Mutko told reporters on Thursday.

He said that Rodchenkov interacted with a large number of people and that due to this their activities also have to be examined.

Mutko recalled that the Moscow Anti-Doping Laboratory began to be established in 2005, and the government devoted funds to provide it with all necessary up-to-date equipment.

“Nothing was denied, neither R&D, nor up-to-date equipment, and maybe we even turned a blind eye on some things. And now the story is told in a way that, it turns out, he [Rodchenkov] had been summoned somewhere and as good as tortured,” he said.

Mutko said that his entire work in the post of the sports minister is aimed at purging sports of doping; however, it is impossible for him to control every athlete. ” I am sorry but I cannot sleep with every athlete,” he said.

[featured image is file photo]