Russian sports minister Vitaly Mutko has strongly denied there has been any state-sponsored cheating in Russia on his watch and blamed global sports bosses for some of his country's current problems.
Speaking to journalists in Moscow, Mutko acknowledged Russia had problems with doping but no more so than any other leading sports nation.
The Minister of Sport, Tourism and Youth Policy also urged the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) to lift the current ban on Russia's athletics team so it can compete at the Rio Olympics.
"I don't think the IAAF has any grounds not to restore our team to competition for the Rio Olympics," Mutko said.
"Personally, I am in favour of individual punishments for athletes who violate anti-doping rules."
A decision on whether to lift the suspension or not will be announced by the IAAF on June 17.
Mutko was speaking shortly after the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) confirmed 14 of its athletes, across three sports, had tested positive in the re-analysis of samples from the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
The ROC said in a statement that it had received "official documents" from the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
The organisation added that, in accordance with the anti-doping rules of the IOC and WADA, the names of the 14 athletes would not be disclosed until their B samples had been analysed and official disciplinary proceedings were under way.
The IOC last week revealed it had retested 454 samples from Beijing, catching 31 athletes from 12 countries and six different sports.
The 14 Russians who tested positive included 11 from the track and field team, according to Russian state news agency TASS and Match TV channel. The failed samples may result in the loss of nine medals.
Mutko would not confirm or deny those reports but a statement from the ministry later said it was "extremely disappointed to hear the speculation about Russian athletes" testing positive, before reiterating its commitment to clean sport.
There is no doubt that Mutko, and the rest of the Russian political leadership, understand real change is needed now but there is no sign of an end to the bad news.
The IOC is also retesting samples from London 2012 and Russian athletes are widely expected to be caught in that process too, and then there is the prospect of a second major World Anti-Doping Agency investigation, this time into allegations of state-sponsored doping at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
That inquiry is scheduled to publish its findings in mid-July and last week IOC president Thomas Bach suggested is possible it could be so damaging that the entire Russian delegation is excluded from Rio.
And that is before you consider the 47 Russian athletes who have failed tests for the newly banned heart disease drug meldonium this year.
Mutko, who also sits on FIFA's Council and is president of the Russian Football Association, completely dismisses the possibility of Russia missing a summer Games or any of its athletes having to compete under a neutral IOC flag.
He also pointed out that the allegations of a conspiracy to subvert the anti-doping process at the Sochi Olympics should be a matter for the IOC and WADA.
"We built them a lab at great expense, installed the newest equipment, and then handed it over to the IOC," he said.
"WADA put 18 of its experts in there and they worked in shifts around the clock, all watched by cameras.
"We don't know the results of the tests and didn't control anything - it was the IOC's lab and everything was then sent to Lausanne for storage.
"We are flattered that there is so much attention to Russian sport at the moment but not so much to other countries.
"We are committed to cooperating but the system has to be fair."
Russia's athletics federation and its entire anti-doping system have been in the cold ever since WADA's independent commission found compelling evidence of systemic cheating within Russian athletics.
But Mutko is adamant Russia has done all that has been asked of it since the commission's report was delivered in November.
The All-Russia Athletics Federation has new leadership, athletes have been banned, coaches sacked and all potential Olympians have been subjected to extra testing.
That testing, Mutko pointed out, has been directed by UK Anti-Doping, on behalf of WADA, as Russia's anti-doping agency RUSADA has also been suspended and completely overhauled.
"We have to create a credible anti-doping system, and we will," the 57-year-old said. "But it won't be in our hands - it will be in WADA's hands."
Warming to his topic, Mutko also listed the achievements he has made since the sports ministry was set up in 2008 - in particular Russia's regular hosting of major sports events - and defended its record of catching drugs cheats.
He explained how important sport was as a health and social policy tool in Russia and the amount of money the country has invested in sport.
But whilst he was explaining how Russia has tested 12,000 samples over the last six years, catching 170 of its own athletes, which is comparable to elsewhere, Russian state media was revealing the country's latest scandal.
"The Ministry of Sport is extremely disappointed to hear the speculation that Russian athletes are among those found to have violated anti-doping rules at the 2008 Beijing Olympics after re-testing their samples," an official statement said.
"Any athletes found cheating should face corresponding sanctions.
"We have taken numerous steps to eradicate the issue of doping, and understand that the roots of the problem, particularly in athletics, go back to the past.
"However, this is an ongoing issue that we are committed to tackling."