Amid allegations of a widespread doping cover-up among Russian officials, an online poll by one of the country's biggest sports websites Sports.ru showed most Russian sports fans were hardly surprised by the explosive report.
Asked the question “Do you believe that Russian sport is clean?,” 68 percent of respondents of the poll published Tuesday chose the answer: “No, it has long been burning in Hell.”
Fourteen percent of voters said the investigative report published by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) on Monday proved nothing.
Head of Sports.ru Dmitry Navosha told The Moscow Times the results showed that “despite all the patriotism [in Russia] people recognized the problems existed.”
But other voters, 18 percent, agreed with Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko — who said earlier this week that WADA's allegations were politically motivated — and voted: “I don't know, it looks like part of a conspiracy against Russia.”
Mutko, a FIFA executive committee member and head of the committee organizing the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, said that Russia was not alone in its doping practices but that it was being unfairly singled out, Interfax reported.
Navosha told The Moscow Times on Wednesday that he had been aware of “considerable problems” in Russian sport.
“But the report also implicated structures under whose responsibility [sports] did not fall, that it practically had the character of governmental policy,” he added.
On Monday, head of the WADA independent commission and International Olympic Committee veteran Dick Pound accused Russia of running a "state-supported" doping program.
“If even half of [WADA's] statements are true, that would of course be very detrimental for Russia,” Navosha said.
More than 28,000 people had participated in the Sports.ru poll by Wednesday afternoon.