Russian track and field athletes could compete under ROC aegis - Mutko

Russian track and field athletes not accused of doping could compete under the patronage of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC), Sports Minister Vitaly Mutkov said on Sunday.

Russian track and field athletes not accused of doping could compete under the patronage of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC), Sports Minister Vitaly Mutkov said on Sunday.

"We will propose to our Olympic Committee and together will try to approach the International Association of Athletics Federations and the IOC [International Olympic Committee] with a proposal that our clean athletes compete in various tournaments under the ROC aegis in the next three months," Mutko said.

Doping is not just Russia's problem, it is relevant for the whole world; however, responsibility for doping could be significantly toughened, if need be, he said.

"Those using banned substances must understand that our patience is not endless. If they fail to understand, we will introduce criminal liability and lock them up," Mutko said.

Russia will openly cooperate with international institutes to resolve these problems at the Russian Athletics Federation in the next three months, he said. For now, Russia is not planning to turn to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, the minister said.    

"Do not get hyped about this topic. We are not considering it yet. We have three months of work ahead. We have no system of errors in track and field athletics, we have problems and we will be working on them," Mutko said.

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