Image by Kremlin.ru
The Russian doping scandal has been a huge stain on recent Kremlin history and an embarrassment for the Russian public as sports has been epic for Moscow since the Soviet days. Russian President Vladimir Putin today apologized to Russian athletes for ‘not protecting them against outside pressures’.
“Please forgive us for failing to protect you from that [such attacks],” Putin said at a meeting with participants in PyeongChang Olympics on Wednesday, reported Russian state news agency TASS.
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“The price doubles, though, when sports get mixed up with some alien events and factors, with volatile circumstances, with politics or something else,” Putin said. “And it surely triples in a country, in this particular case, our country, when in this connection a very mixed public attitude takes shape and where very different, sometimes quite conflicting opinions on that score are voiced.
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“This creates the most adverse conditions for achieving results.”
Saying the entire Russian population was very emotional for the athletes, Putin added, “We will do our utmost in order to support them.” He asked the Olympic athletes “to forget about what accompanied preparations for the Olympic Games lately and about the things I’ve just said.”
I sincerely wish you success and victories…”We also expect that our colleagues in international sports organizations will do their best to see that these international organizations, sports unions don’t turn into departments of state agencies of certain countries, no matter how powerful and important these states would seem at first sight.”
Athletes who have been cleared by the International Olympic Committee will compete under the title “Olympic Athlete from Russia (OAR).”