Vitaly Mutko: Russian deputy PM says sex can alter female doping test results

Vitaly Mutko
Vitaly Mutko has been promoted from sports minister to deputy prime minister

Female doping results can be distorted if athletes have had sex in the days leading up to a test, says Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko.

Mutko has been outspoken since the McLaren report alleged there had been a state-backed Russian doping programme.

Part of the report outlines samples taken from two women's ice hockey players that contained male DNA.

"If you have sex five days before taking a doping test, they can find male DNA in you," said Mutko.

"If a female athlete undergoes a drug test within five days after the act, then the test will show that she has male hormones - and yet it evokes suspicions of her using different drugs."

Former World Anti-Doping Agency vice-president Arne Ljungqvist said DNA is "very personal" and "cannot be shared via sex".

Former Great Britain heptathlete Kelly Sotherton seemed bemused by Mutko's claims on Twitter
British former heptathlete Kelly Sotherton seemed bemused by Mutko's claims

In saying Russian athletes were unfairly treated, Mutko drew comparison with the cases of Canadian pole vault world champion Shawn Barber and French tennis player Richard Gasquet, who avoided punishment after blaming positive drugs tests for cocaine on kissing women who had ingested the banned substance.

"One [athlete] can kiss a girl who has taken a drug. A foreign [athlete] is reinstated based on this while a Russian is punished," Mutko told Russian publication Sport-Express.

The McLaren report states more than 1,000 Russians - including Olympic medallists - benefited from a state-sponsored doping programme between 2011 and 2015.

It found two female Russian ice hockey players at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi had male urine samples.

Russia has repeatedly denied the claims but 19 national anti-doping organisations last week said the country should be banned from both competing in and hosting international sporting events.

The country gave up a World Cup biathlon meeting set to be held in March, was stripped of a speed skating meet for the same month and lost the right to host the 2017 bobsleigh and skeleton World Championships.