Putin says Russia hopes to turn page on doping at Olympics

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Putin says Russia hopes to turn page on doping at Olympics
Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures while speaking during a meeting with his supporters in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018. Putin is expected to easily win another six-year term in this year's presidential election.(AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)

MOSCOW (AP) — Vladimir Putin says he hopes Russia can soon leave behind years of doping scandals.

With 168 Russians due to compete at next month’s Pyeongchang Olympics under a neutral flag as punishment for past doping offenses, Putin says the games could mark the end of the country’s doping problems.

At an election campaign event, the Russian president says “I hope that this page will be turned.”

Putin also called on Russian athletes to obey International Olympic Committee rules at the Pyeongchang Games. The IOC has required Russians to compete in uniforms without national symbols and bars them from gestures like taking a national flag from spectators to celebrate.

Putin says “I call on all our athletes to follow all the rules that the International Olympic Committee suggests.”