Russian sports chief admits country has a doping problem that must be fixed

Mikhail Butov says that they are working to ‘change the mentality’ of coaches in Russia

The head of the All-Russia Athletics Federation has admitted that his country has a doping problem and that the mentality of coaches needs to change.

Speaking to BBC's Newsnight on Tuesday evening, Mikhail Butov said: "We know our problem with the doping. We need to work to change the mentality of many coaches, especially the coaches in the regions. We started to do it very, very hard in April. We started an educational programme."

Butov’s comments come off the back of the Wada report released on Tuesday which claimed that Russia was running a ‘state-sponsored’ doping programme and that the 2012 London Olympics had been ‘sabotaged’ by Russian athletes on performance-enhancing drugs.

IAAF president Sebastian Coe will chair a meeting on Friday to decide whether or not Russia should be suspended from athletics.


There is also a possibility that Russian athletes could be banned from competing at next year’s Rio Olympics.

Dick Pound, who led the investigation into Russian doping, said that Butov's organisation – ARAF – were uncooperative and refused to assist in the report.

Butov denied that. “I cannot accept that,” he said.

“Firstly, nobody from the commission contacted the federation during the last months. Nobody contacted the interim president, nobody contacted myself. They have never contacted us.”

Yesterday a Moscow laboratory used for doping tests stopped operating after its accreditation was suspended by Wada.

And, in the latest reverberation, the former IAAF president Lamine Diack has resigned as honorary member of the International Olympic Committee following the launch of a formal investigation against the Senegalese for suspected corruption and money-laundering.