Russian President Vladimir Putin says Moscow has grounds to appeal a decision by the World Anti-Doping Agency to bar Russia from major sporting events, a move he said violated the Olympic charter.
Russia has been banned from the world's top sporting events for four years, including the next summer and winter Olympics and the 2022 Football World Cup, for tampering with doping tests.
Putin, who was speaking in Paris, said Russia would analyse a decision he said smacked of politics and was not in the interest of sport.
The doping agency's executive committee acted after concluding that Moscow had planted fake evidence and deleted files linked to positive doping tests in laboratory data that could have helped identify drug cheats.
The decision was a huge blow to the pride of a nation that has traditionally been a powerhouse in many sports but whose reputation has been tarnished by a series of doping scandals.
Putin, at a news conference in the French presidency's Elysee Palace, said the WADA conclusions contained no complaints directed at Russia's national Olympic committee.
"And if there are no complaints against it, then the country should compete under the national flag. That's written in the Olympic charter. That means that, in that aspect, the WADA decision violated the Olympic charter. We have all grounds to appeal," Putin said.
"Any punishment should be individual, and should be linked to what has been done ... by one person or another. A punishment cannot be collective, and apply to people who have nothing to do with certain violations," he added.
"If someone takes such a decision about collective punishment, I think there is every grounds to suppose that the basis for such decisions is not a care about the purity of international sport, but political considerations which have nothing to do with the interest of sport or the Olympic movement," Putin said.
If RUSADA appeals WADA's punishment, the case will be referred to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
A drawn out saga
Russia, which has tried to showcase itself as a global sports power, has been embroiled in doping scandals since a 2015 report commissioned by WADA found evidence of mass doping in Russian athletics.
Its doping woes have grown since, with many of its athletes sidelined from the past two Olympics and the country stripped of its flag altogether at last year's Pyeongchang Winter Games as punishment for state-sponsored doping cover-ups at the 2014 Sochi Games.
The sanctions, which also include a four-year ban on Russia hosting major sporting events, were recommended by WADA's compliance review committee in response to the doctored laboratory data provided by Moscow earlier this year.
One of the conditions for the reinstatement of Russian anti-doping agency RUSADA, which was suspended in 2015 in the wake of the athletics doping scandal but reinstated last year, had been that Moscow provide an authentic copy of the laboratory data.
The sanctions effectively strip the agency of its accreditation.
Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov last month attributed the discrepancies in the laboratory data to technical issues.
Russia's punishment leaves the door open for clean Russian athletes to compete at major international sporting events without their flag or anthem for the next four years, something they did at the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics.