Russian officials acknowledge doping conspiracy but denies it state sponsored

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New York : For the first time Russian anti-doping officials have acknowledged a massive doping conspiracy in their country that has rocked world sport. The authorities termed it as an institutional conspiracy.

However, they continued to reject the characterization of the doping scheme as state-sponsored, saying that the top government officials were not involved.

The allegations dealt the latest body blow to Russian sport, which was still trying to shrug off the damage from McLaren’s initial report and the exclusion of its track and field athletes from international competition.

The affair reverberated through the 2016 Rio Olympics and has continued to be felt as winter sports events such as biathlon and speed skating World Cup stops have been withdrawn from the country.