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Russia Prepares Sanctions in Retaliation for Olympics Doping Ban

Craig Reedie, President of the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) / Denis Balibouse / Reuters

Russian legislators have said they are preparing retaliatory sanctions against international officials responsible for Russia’s ban from the Olympics, to be introduced after February's Winter Games.

Russian Olympic team and officials were barred from the coming games in South Korea following an investigation into a state-sponsored doping scheme at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. Russian officials have denied the accusations and claim that the ban is an anti-Russian conspiracy.

On Monday, members of Russia’s upper house of parliament told the pro-Kremlin Izvestia newspaper that sanctions could target around 10 people from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), as well as officials from the FBI and the office of U.S. special prosecutor Robert Mueller. 

“What’s most important now is for our athletes to perform well. After the Olympic Games and the Olympic cycle end, we will identify those who are guilty and give everyone what’s coming," Andrei Klimov, the head of the Federation Council's committee on state sovereignty, told Izvestia. 

The punitive measures could include criminal cases and entry bans into Russia, according to unnamed sources cited by the newspaper. 

Klimov said the decision to retaliate had been reached as far back as Dec. 12. 

The report comes a week after a Russian-linked group of hackers leaked emails claiming an “Anglo-Saxon” lobby headed by WADA and the U.S. Olympic Committee was “fighting for power and cash in the sporting world.”

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