Doping whistleblower welcomes ban

Wednesday, December 11th, 2019 00:00 | By
Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) headquarters in Moscow. Russia was handed a four-year ban from global sporting events over manipulated doping data on Monday. Photo/PD/AFP

Washington Tuesday

The former head of Russia’s anti-doping agency, who fled Moscow after turning whistleblower, on Monday welcomed a four-year ban from major sporting events imposed on his native country.

“Finally, fraud, lies and falsifications of unspeakable proportions have been punished in full swing,” said Grigory Rodchenkov in a statement.

Rodchenkov, who lives in the US under a witness protection programme after accusing Russia of widespread doping activities, warned however that for the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) “there is more to do.”

He said those involved in the doping of athletes “should be punished retroactively.”

“Doped athletes do not work alone. There are medical doctors, coaches and managers who provided substances, advised and protected them. In Russia’s state-sponsored doping scheme, there is also a state-sponsored defence of many cheaters including state officials, witnesses and apparatchiks who are lying under oath and have falsified evidence. These individuals are clearly criminals,” he said.

Rodchenkov also called for the results of the 2012 London and 2014 Sochi Olympics to “be reanalysed and reconsidered with the new knowledge available today.”

“We only have a few months to reanalyse the samples from the 2012 London Games because according to WADA rules, we only have eight years to review,” the Russian whistleblower said.

“There is a whole generation of clean athletes who have painfully abandoned their dreams and lost awards because of Russian cheaters. We need to take the strongest action to bring justice back to sport,” he said.

WADA’s executive committee announced earlier Monday that Russia would be banned for four years from major global sporting events including the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

It accused Moscow of falsifying data from a doping testing laboratory that was handed over to investigators earlier this year.

The toughest ever sanctions imposed on Russian state authorities will see government officials barred from attending any major events, while the country will lose the right to host, or even bid, for tournaments.

“For too long, Russian doping has detracted from clean sport,” WADA president Craig Reedie said.

Rodchenkov, who once headed Russia’s national anti-doping agency before revealing the state-backed doping programme, said that after he fled his laboratory’s database had been destroyed.            -AFP

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