Putin: Russian doping scandals could be US election meddling

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting of his Security Council in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017. The meeting is focused on preparations for Putin’s trip to a summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation leaders’ meeting in Danang, Vietnam, later this week. (Alexei Druzhinin, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

MOSCOW (AP) President Vladimir Putin is suggesting that a recent flurry of Russian sports doping allegations could be an American attempt to interfere in next year’s Russian presidential election.

On Thursday, four Russian cross-country skiers were found guilty of doping at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. In all, six Russian skiers have been found guilty by an International Olympics Committee commission.

Putin noted that international sports organizations have a complex skein of “relationships and dependencies.” He says “and the controlling stake is in the United States,” where sponsors and television broadcasters are concentrated.

Putin says “in response to our alleged interference in their elections, they want to create problems during the election of the president of Russia.”

Putin has not announced whether he will run for another term in the March 18 election.