By Duncan Mackay in Vancouver

February 9 - Russia will not be involved in any doping scandals here at the Winter Olympics, the head of the country's anti-drugs organisation Aleksandr Derevoedov promised today after fears were raised with the President Dmitry Medvedev (pictured) that the problem of doping is out-of-hand there.

Jacques Rogge, the President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), admitted he was so concerned about the number of positive doping tests in Russia that he had met Medvedev and demanded action.

Russia has been dogged by drug scandals in recent times with Alena Sidko, one of the country's most experienced nordic skiers, the most recent cheat to be exposed.

She was thrown off the country's team last month after testing positive for the banned drug Erythropoietin (EPO).

Rogge said: "I have been very clear on this, we have indeed been concerned by the number of positive cases.

"I had a meeting with the Minister of Sport Vitaly Mutko.

"I alerted him and he said he would do everything in his power to improve the situation.

"I also had a meeting with the President of Russia Mr Medvedev and insisted on strong action on doping.

"He promised he would launch that and he was very explicit also in public declarations after that."

Derevoedov claimed that Russia had taken note of Rogge's concerns and done everything they can to ensure that the team will be clean here.

He said: "We can with full confidence declare that the Russian Anti-Doping Agency has done everything in its power in this pre-Olympic period, so athletes will go to Vancouver fully tested and clear of doping.

"To date there is not a single athlete in the team that has not passed the control.

"The rest largely depends on the athletes themselves once they are beyond our control at the Games."

As well as Sidko, triple Olympic champion Julia Tchepalova and fellow Russian nordic skier Natalia Matveeva were given doping bans by the International Ski Federation (FIS) in December.

Tchepalova is among the most successful women nordic skiers of the past decade, winning Olympic gold in 1998, 2002 and 2006 and claiming world titles in 2001 and 2005.

Another Russian skier, Nina Rysina, tested positive for EPO while competing in France in January.

And in July the International Biathlon Union suspended three Russian athletes for two years for doping violations.

Albina Akhatova, Yekaterina Iourieva and Dmitri Yaroshenko tested positive for EPO during a World Cup event in 2008 in Ostersund, Sweden.

But controversy surrounds the participation of Olga Medvedtseva (pictured), who came second in the women's 15km individual race at the last Olympics in Turin but was disqualified and stripped of her medal for failing a drug test.

Medvedtseva was subsequently banned for two years from all competition, but is now back and is expected to be a contender of a medal at these Games.

In the last year both Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin have publicly hit out at the number of cases involving Russians.

The build-up to the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing was overshadowed by a scandal when seven female middle and long-distance runners, including former world 5,000 metres champion Olga Yegorova, were banned after it was alleged they had used other people's clean urine samples to pass drugs tests.

The Russian city of Sochi is due to host the next Winter Olympics in 2014 and Rogge warned the authorities must crackdown on doping.

He said: "I understand people are worried by the number of positive tests, they are legitimate to be worried and the IOC, I believe, has shown its concern by speaking to the Russian President.

"It is up now to the Russian sports authorities to respond."

Derevoedov said: "A huge amount of work has been done on educating the athletes about doping.

"So let’s wait and see, but again, we hope not to see any doping scandals at the Olympics.

"We hope… actually, we are almost certain that there will be no doping scandals at the Olympics."

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