Russia says another Olympic bid possible, despite doping |

Russia says another Olympic bid possible, despite doping

In this pool photo taken on Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019, Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and Olympic judo medallist Natalia Kuzyutina, right, attend a training session with the Russian national judo team at the Yug-Sport Training Center in Sochi, Russia. (Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)
AP | Pool Sputnik Kremlin

MOSCOW — Russian Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov said Thursday the country is interested in hosting the Olympics in 2032 or 2036, even as it still faces the fallout from years of doping scandals.

“As regards organization and hosting there are no doubts that Russia would be up to the task of hosting these competitions,” Kolobkov told state news agency Tass. “It’s very interesting for us in principle and we need to look at it more.”

With Paris confirmed to host the 2024 games and Los Angeles the host in 2028, the 2032 games would be the next opportunity for Russia to host its first Summer Olympics since Moscow in 1980.

“It’s clear to the International Olympic Committee, any federation and the whole world that Russia has a certain quality in hosting competitions. Probably it’s always right that competitions held in our country are considered some of the best on the organizational level,” Kolobkov said.

Russia hosted the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, when the World Anti-Doping Agency alleges there was a government-backed program to dope Russian athletes and falsify their drug test results by swapping dirty samples for clean urine. The Russian government denies the allegations.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has previously said Sochi, St. Petersburg and Kazan could all host future editions of the summer Olympic Games.

Russia’s anti-doping agency was reinstated by WADA in September, though it could be suspended again if Russia fails to cooperate with an ongoing investigation into past doping. Russian authorities turned over data from the Moscow laboratory at the center of the doping cases last month. It’s now being analyzed by WADA, which wants Russia to turn over stored samples for analysis by June 30.

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