MOSCOW: President Vladimir Putin on Thursday accused the United States of inventing doping allegations against Russian athletes to influence next year’s presidential election, which he is widely expected to contest and win, reports AFP.
“In response to our alleged interference in their election, they want to create problems for the election of the president of Russia,” Putin said in the Urals city of Chelyabinsk.
Putin has not said whether he will contest the March election but few analysts say they believe he will pass up the chance to extend his Kremlin term to 2024.
“Here is what worries me: the Olympics start in February, and when are our presidential elections? In March,” Putin told workers during a visit to a factory.