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Dec 7, 5:55 AM EST

Russia PM: State will never admit "false" doping charges


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MOSCOW (AP) -- Russia Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev says the state will never acknowledge the accusation of state-sponsored doping that prevents the Russia team from competing at the Pyeongchang Olympics because it considers it false.

Medvedev, speaking at the Cabinet session on Thursday, says, "We can't and will not acknowledge false conclusions."

He also argued that the International Olympic Committee decision on Tuesday to ban the Russia team from the Winter Games in South Korea for anti-doping violations at the 2014 Sochi Games had political underlining.

Medvedev said the move was taken in order to influence public opinion in Russia ahead of the March 18 presidential election.

After President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that Russia won't boycott the Olympics, Medvedev says the Cabinet will support Russians who want to compete as neutral athletes at the games in February.

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