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Russian sports minister denies doping cover up - TASS

Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko speaks during an interview in Moscow, Russia, May 24, 2016. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin/Files
Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko speaks during an interview in Moscow, Russia, May 24, 2016. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin/Files

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said on Thursday he denied accusations of covering up a positive doping test from a top-flight Russian footballer, TASS news agency reported.

Mutko said on Wednesday the allegations by German public broadcaster ARD/WDR were an attempt to sway a ruling on Russia's ban from international athletics ahead of the Rio Olympics.

The minister also said Russian former anti-doping chief Grigory Rodchenkov, who has spoken widely about his role orchestrating systematic cheating in Russia, was being paid by those who had given him refuge after he left the country.

Rodchenkov is currently in the United States.

(Reporting by Alexander Winning; Writing by Jack Stubbs; Editing by Dmitry Solovyov)

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