- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Russian President Vladimir Putin wants his diplomats to find a way to change international doping rules in sports.

Russia was punished for widespread doping among its Olympic athletes in previous years by not allowing Russian athletes to compete under their national flag at the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang. The Olympians were instead referred to as “Olympic Athletes from Russia” and Paralympians were designated as “Neutral Paralympic Athletes.”

Putin, who was recently elected to a fourth presidential term, spoke to Russian Paralympic athletes Tuesday.

The president is reportedly interested in his diplomats changing the treaty that serves as a basis for the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), the International Olympic Committee’s initiative to combat performance-enhancing drugs in sports. WADA accused Russia of running a state-sponsored doping program for its Olympic athletes.

Putin said the treaty should be “refined” so that “the rules are fair and absolutely transparent.”

Two Russian athletes at the 2018 Winter Olympics tested positive for banned substances despite the country being in an obvious spotlight for such activity.

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