ATHLETICS NEWS - Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Thursday the authorities should get tougher on doping in sport while insisting that other countries are not "without sin".
Russia faces a possible new doping ban and could be barred from all sporting competition for four years including the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo and the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.
Russian authorities are accused of tampering with drug test data they handed to global anti-doping watchdog WADA.
Speaking to reporters during an annual televised question-and-answer session with TV journalists, Medvedev said Russia should get serious about rooting out cheats.
"We do have a problem with doping and this is unacceptable," he said.
"We should adopt a tougher line on this matter, towards those taking the decisions on the use of these substances."
"Here we have committed a sin," he acknowledged, while adding: "Are other countries without sin?"
He argued that clean Russian athletes should not be punished for others' mistakes and complained the long-running doping scandal is like an "endless anti-Russian TV series."
On Monday, the executive committee of the World Anti-Doping Agency will meet in Lausanne to consider the recommendation to ban Russia.
The high-profile meeting will take place after a WADA review panel has accused Moscow of falsifying laboratory data handed over to investigators as part of a probe into the doping allegations that have plagued Russia for years.
Full disclosure of data from the Moscow laboratory was a key condition of Russia's controversial reinstatement by WADA in September 2018.
The chief of Russia's anti-doping agency RUSADA, Yury Ganus, has told AFP he expects WADA to uphold the ban.
Ganus on Thursday proposed a number of measures to fight the new doping crisis including the dismissal of all the national team's athletics coaches.
The RUSADA chief also said an international working group should be created to help reinstate Russia's athletics federation.
The proposed sanctions are the latest chapter in a saga that began in 2015 when an independent WADA commission investigating allegations of Russian doping during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi said it had found evidence of a vast state-sponsored system stretching back years.