ALTERNATIVE CROP OF XAZ105 – Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko, talk to each other during a visit to the federal government center “South Sports” before their late-night meeting with the heads of Russia’s sports federations in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia, Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2015. Putin has ordered an investigation into allegations of widespread doping among the country’s sports figures. (Alexei Druzhinin, RIA-Novosti, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)
LONDON (AP) — The Latest from the IAAF investigation (all times local):
Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko tells The Associated Press the country has no intention of boycotting next year’s Olympics, even if the track and field team is banned.
Track’s governing body is expected to rule Friday on whether to suspend Russia from competition because of the doping scandal. Mutko says he plans to speak with IAAF President Sebastian Coe ahead of the decision.
Mutko says even if Russia is suspended “we don’t plant to boycott anything anywhere,” calling Russia “a dependable partner of the international Olympic movement.”
Mutko also appealed for Russian athletes to be allowed to compete, saying “it’s about protecting the athletes with clean consciences.”
VTB first deputy president Vasily Titov says the end of the partnership deal with governing body of track and field is not related to the Russian doping scandal.
Titov tells the RIA Novosti news agency “it has run out … We think that all the goals have been achieved regarding this. We have not planned to extend (the contract). No, it’s not linked to the doping scandal in any way.”
VTB is majority owned by the Russian government.
In the wake of the doping scandal, the governing body of track and field says Russian bank VTB has decided not to renew its partnership deal.
The IAAF says “VTB has expressed no interest to extend its present contract, the last event of which was the IAAF World Championships in Beijing. The contract will come to a natural end in 2015.”
VTB became the first Russian company to sign a sponsorship contract with the IAAF in 2006.
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