The former head of Russian’s anti-doping laboratory told The New York Times Russian officials took clean urine from athletes, months before the 2014 Sochi Olympics and transported it in baby bottles and soda containers as part of a strategy to evade doping tests.

Grigory Rodchenkov, working with a filmmaker on a documentary, provided details of the elaborate scheme that he said involved dozens of Russian athletes and officials. Rodchenkov remarked tainted samples were replaced for at least three gold medalists.

The NY Times report was described by the International Olympic Committee as “very worrying.” The IOC said Olympic officials would work with the World Anti-Doping Agency to investigate these claims.

Few months back, Vitaly Stepanov, who had a low-level job of collecting urine and blood samples for Russia’s anti-doping agency, disclosed Rodchenkov told him that at least four Russians won gold medals at the Sochi Olympics while on anabolic steroids and the Russian anti-doping lab covered it up. Stepanov also disclosed that agents the FSB (the Russian equivalent of FBI), worked as doping control officers during the Sochi games and also commented that the FSB tried to control every single step of the anti-doping process in Sochi. The details offered by Rodchenkov added more evidence to claims made by Stepanov that the government of Russia was deeply involved to cheat and cover up the doping. It was also claimed by Rodchenkov that he offered a cocktail of anabolic steroids mixed with liquor to some athletes, using Scotch whisky for men and vermouth for women.

The IOC said in a statement these allegations are very detailed and very worrying and we ask the World Anti-Doping Agency to investigate immediately. Prior to the publication of the NY Times story, the IOC’s medical director Dr. Richard Budgett said the IOC was considering retesting samples from the Sochi Olympics. However, this may not prove useful as Rodchenkov claims tainted urine was flushed down the toilet after it was replaced.

Commenting on the claims, outgoing WADA director general David Howman said it shows the system can be broken rather simply. Howman added it looks on the surface there might have been quite a big ‘get away’ and added the real question is the way this is a systematic program.

Beckie Scott, chair of the athletes’ commission, made an emotional plea to the foundation board in which he urged WADA to use its influence to keep Russian drug cheats out of the Rio Games. Scott, who won bronze at the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Games but was upgraded to gold, remarked we acknowledge that WADA does not have jurisdiction over the Olympic Games and added but WADA does have, however, influence and clean athletes of the world propose that you use that influence with respect to Rio and Game beyond.

Reacting to the allegations, Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko defended athletes of the country. Mutko said they are outstanding athletes and the accusations are absurd. The sports minister added the accusations against them are absolutely groundless and added we will study this article and will decide how to react.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: Ex-Russian Official Opens Up About Massive Doping

Comments

comments