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Sports

Russia pleads innocent in response to IAAF accusations

Russia's answer to athletics doping accusations is no surprise, but one official said there were admissions to be made. The real drama will come with the IAAF reveals its verdict on WADA findings.

Russia has dispatched its response to doping allegations to the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), the head of the athletics federation said Thursday, in a bid to show the country's "innocence."

"We have just sent our account to the IAAF," the acting president of Russia's athletics federation, Vadim Zelichenok, told Russian news agency TASS.

Earlier, he told Russian sports agency "R-Sports" that Russia's athletics authorities had produced the response "in such a way as to try to prove our innocence." Zelichenok then spoke to the Associated Press later on Thursday and said, "We admit some things, we argue with some things, some are already fixed, it's a variety." He declined to provide further details, saying, "It's not for the press."

The IAAF will rule on Friday in a conference call whether to ban Russia from international competitions over the doping

scandal revealed by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) on Monday.

Russian President

Vladimir Putin has ordered Russian officials to launch their own internal investigation and cooperate with international anti-doping authorities.

The author of the 335-page report, Canadian lawyer Dick Pound, said the Russians should be barred from all athletics competition, even next summer's Olympics, unless they acted quickly and strongly to stamp out the systemic doping.

Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said on Thursday that Russia will not boycott next year's Olympics even if the country's track and field athletes are banned from competing. Mutko went on to describe Russia as "a dependable partner of the international Olympic movement."

jh/sms (AP, AFP)

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