Moscow: Russia`s sports minister Vitaly Mutko says a power struggle at the top of athletics` world body the IAAF is behind damning new doping allegations which he dismisses as "nonsense".
"It seems that somebody wants to ruin the track and field athletics by issuing such films on air," the ITAR-TASS news agency quoted Mutko as saying on Sunday.
"In any case it`s incorrect to base any kind of accusations on the documentary, it`s just nonsense.
"The elections of the new IAAF president will take place in August and the struggle for power is currently in full swing.
"We shouldn`t fall into panic but to continue to work with no worry. Currently there`s no real power to rule IAAF and everything there looks like a mess."
German TV channel ARD on Saturday broadcast a documentary named: "Doping - Top Secret: The Shadowy World of Athletics" with a series of new accusations aimed at Russian and Kenyan athletes.
ARD, who last December had aired similar accusations of doping and corruption in Russia, returned to the controversy just three weeks out from the world championships in Beijing.
"Despite assurances from the Russian authorities (in favour of a clean sport) doped competitors and their suppliers are always protected," the public broadcaster said in a statement.
The makers of the film claim to have evidence of human growth hormone being used to boost Russian runners.
They also say that a hidden camera recorded 800m athlete Anastasia Bazdireva as praising the benefits of drugs.
"With anabolics, I have stiff muscles. But I can run. It`s hard but it`s OK. You feel different with anabolics," she is recorded as claiming.
But the minister has raised doubts about the credibility of the statements in the ARD film.
"Our former athletics federation bosses have launched a legal action against the first ARD film authors," Mutko said.
"We had a feeling that there was no direct Russian speech in that documentary, only the German text. We have asked them to give us evidence for inspection but haven`t got anything.
"That`s why the attitude to the new accusations should be very careful. But we`re set to study them thoroughly anyway."
Russia`s athletics federation has called all the accusations in the ARD documentaries "unfounded".
"We`ve already commented on it in December," federation press secretary Alla Glushchenko told radio station "Echo of Moscow" on Sunday.
"We found there a barefaced lie, nothing else. So far everything (in the film) is unsubstantiated."