Doping Row Turns Physical as Russian TV Pursues German Accuser

  • German journalist reacts to interviewer’s ‘stupid’ questions
  • Seppelt alleged Russian sports minister aided doping cover-up

A Russian state TV channel’s interview with journalist Hajo Seppelt descended into a pushing match as the German lost his patience with the Kremlin-controlled Rossiya network’s line of questioning.

Seppelt, who broadcast a report on Germany’s ADR Wednesday charging that Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko was involved in covering up a state-sponsored doping program, first lectured Rossiya’s Olga Skabeyeva on journalistic ethics, according to footage aired on the Russian channel. He then shouted at her that she and her colleagues were “stupid” and tried to push her out of the room where the interview took place in Germany.

Russian sports has been rocked by a series of doping scandals, including a two-year suspension that was handed down this week to tennis player Maria Sharapova for testing positive for a banned substance. The International Association of Athletics Federations will meet June 17 to rule whether the Russian track-and-field team can participate in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in August after it was found attempting to falsify doping test results.

The Kremlin has dismissed reports of government involvement in doping, including Seppelt’s, as unsubstantiated slander based on testimony from people who’d fled Russia.

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