Vladimir Putin Orders Creation of New Anti-Doping Commission

Russia's President Vladimir Putin (C) poses for a photo with Russian athletes, winners of the 2014 Winter Olympics, in Sochi

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered a new anti-doping commission to be created to shape Russia’s future strategy, as the country faces possible exclusion from the Rio Olympics.

Putin tells a meeting of Russia’s cabinet that the commission will provide “rapid development and tough control for the effective realization of a national plan on the fight against doping.”

Putin proposed 81-year-old Vitaly Smirnov, an honorary International Olympic Committee member and a veteran of Russian and Soviet sports administration, to lead the commission. Putin said Smirnov has an “absolutely unimpeachable reputation” and “the trust and respect of the Olympic family.”

It was not immediately clear if this was the same commission proposed on Thursday by Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko to consider a WADA report alleging state-sponsored doping and cover-ups in Russia.