Russian Olympic Committee president Alexander Zhukov steps down

Russian Olympic president Alexander Zhukov
Zhukov was chairman of the organising committee for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics

Alexander Zhukov, who headed Russia's Olympic Committee throughout the country's state-sponsored doping scandal, is stepping down.

Zhukov - who has never been personally implicated any wrongdoing - told president Vladimir Putin on Tuesday that he wished to focus on his position as first deputy speaker instead.

"This is without doubt the right thing, we support it completely," Putin said.

"Zhukov has done a lot for sport and, I hope, will do more still."

The former deputy prime minister was also chairman of the organising committee for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games, where widespread evidence of tampered drugs test samples has been discovered.

No connection has been made between Zhukov's departure and the Russian doping scandal, which resulted in the ban of 108 Russians from the Olympics and a complete exclusion of Russia's 267 competitors from the Paralympics.

What is the doping scandal?

The McLaren report, which was commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency, concluded that Russia had run a state-sponsored doping programme which involved not only providing performance-enhancing drugs to athletes, but also the cover-up of positive doping tests.

The report outlines how a hole in the wall at the Sochi Winter Olympics testing laboratory was used to smuggle positive samples out in order to replace them with clean ones.

According to McLaren's findings, the state-sponsored doping programme has been in place since 2011, just prior to the London Olympic Games.

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