Russia's sports minister said on Monday that the country will follow recommendations by international sporting bodies, after a report by a World Anti-Doping Agency commission alleged widespread doping and corruption in Russian athletics. (WADA report asks for banning Russian athletes for systematic doping)
"We didn't see anything new in this report," minister Vitaly Mutko told state television. (Sebastian Coe Gives Russia Until End of Week to Respond to WADA Report)
"Of course, we will give it a careful look, and we will make decisions on those recommendations which deserve attention and which are supported by facts."
In a long-awaited report published Monday, the WADA commission called on the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) to suspend the Russian Athletics Federation (ARAF).
Mutko dismissed some of the criticism, arguing Moscow has done everything that was asked by international organisations.
"We invested colossal funds into building a laboratory, we did everything that was recommended to us... we pay a million dollars every year to WADA... I don't understand, what else do we need to do so that somebody says that we comply?"
The report made 14 recommendations to Russian government authorities, in part aimed at improving the independence of its national anti-doping agency and the practices of the sports ministry.
Mutko added that attempts to isolate doping in Russia were futile as it is a global problem.
"Sometimes when we talk about doping and when we talk about a country like Russia, you cannot do anything with just isolation, with simply disqualifying this or that sport, since we can only overcome this together."
He also insisted that the WADA-led commission does not have the power to suspend its athletics federation and that Russian authorities would consider the report's findings.
"There is no need to get confused, the commission does not have the right to suspend anyone," Vitaly Mutko told RIA Novosti news agency.
Vadim Zelichenok, ARAF acting president, told RIA Novosti that the commission's demand was "against the rules" of the IAAF and that Russia should have been "given the chance to defend ourselves".
Zelichenok added that the federation would ask for an extension of the one-week deadline set by the IAAF by which it would have to respond to the report.
Artem Patsev, an ARAF lawyer, said that the accusations issued by the WADA commission looked like a "political" order and that there was no "real evidence."
"If they had serious reasons for the suspension, it would be already done," he told RIA Novosti.
The managing director of the Russian anti-doping agency, Nikita Kamaev, told Russian television that the agency was conducting its own investigation into the allegations.