Putin has no plans to meet IOC leadership, says Russia

Moscow: Russian President Vladimir Putin is not planning to meet with the leadership of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in the near future, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday. "Now the schedule (of Putin) doesn’t have any plans on the meeting with the IOC leadership in the near future, but as far as I know, president of the Russian Olympic Committee (Alexander) Zhukov has departed for contacts with the IOC leadership," Peskov told reporters. Peskov stressed that "cooperation and dialogue with the IOC and all international sports organisations will continue", reports Tass. Moscow regrets the decision in regard to the Russian field and track athletes, Peskov said. He reminded that Putin said on the sidelines of last week’s St. Petersburg International Economic Forum that using criteria of collective responsibility of athletes was unfair and "clean" athletes must not suffer if someone else was caught using doping. This position will be maintained at various levels, Peskov said. Peskov stressed that the Russian leader calls for continuing close cooperation with all international sports organisations and federations. He also reminded that upon Putin’s request an investigation is carried out into instances of using doping in Russia. The Council of the IAAF decided at its session in Vienna on Friday to keep in force membership’s suspension of the Russian athletics body. The suspension means that Russian field and track athletes are currently ineligible to take part in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil.  Exceptions may be made only for the athletes, who manage to prove they are not involved in the Russian anti-doping system. However, even in that case they would not be able to compete under the national Russian flag. The final decision on the issue of participation of Russian field and track athletes at the Olympic Games is due to be announced during the summit of the IOC in Lausanne on June 21.