Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday the World Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA) four-year ban for Russia from international sporting competition over doping was not justified.
He said bans should be handed out on an individual, not collective, basis. Speaking at an annual press conference, Putin said the decision was political and not fair.
"If the vast majority of our athletes are clean, why punish them? ... This decision is contrary to the Olympic charter," he said.
Reuters contributed reporting to this article.