Olympic cocktail: the danger of Russia’s new doping scandal

What are the new charges?

The former head of the Moscow anti-doping laboratory, Grigory Rodchenkov said the publication of The New York Times that dozens of Russian athletes, including 15 medalists, allegedly used doping during the Olympic games in Sochi in 2014. According to Rodchenkova, he developed a mixture of three prohibited substances that the athlete has taken in combination with alcohol, for best absorption.

Doping, according to Rodchenkov, was used as the main stars of the Russian Olympic team: these include 14 members of the national team on ski races and two members of the national team on bobsled. Among athletes, allegedly used doping in Sochi, Rodchenkov called skier Alexander passenger cars (he won gold and silver medals during the Games, bobsledder Alexander Zubkov (won two gold medals), the skeleton Alexander Tretyakov (won gold) and the entire women’s hockey team.

Finally, according to Rodchenkova, the substitution of doping tests Russian athletes at the “clean” samples taken a few months before the Olympic competition, was conducted by the staff of the security services.

Prior to publication in the NYT former employee of the Russian anti-doping Agency RUSADA Vitaly Stepanov stated to CBS that Rodchenkov contacted him on Skype and told them about doping in the Russian Olympic team during the Games in Sochi. With reference to Rodchenkova, he also told us that the FSB was working in the laboratories of Sochi and was in control every step of the anti-doping process.

Who is Grigory Rodchenkov?

Rodchenkov was born in 1958, by education he is a chemist, graduate of Moscow state University on specialty “chemical kinetics and catalysis”. In his youth, ran track, became a master of sports. From 1985 to 1994 Rodchenkov worked in the Moscow anti-doping centre, after — in the Moscow office of the company-distributor of Hewlett-Packard (“INTERLAB”), analytical equipment which at that time stood in all anti-doping laboratories of the world. In 1998, Rodchenkov went to Canada, where worked for a year in anti-doping centre in calgary, on his return to Russia, he headed the Department of chromatography in the group of companies “Laverna”.

<p>the Former head of the Moscow anti-doping laboratory, Grigory Rodchenkov, 2009</p>


Photo: Valeriy Melnikov/RIA Novosti


The former head of the Moscow anti-doping laboratory, Grigory Rodchenkov, 2009

In the 2000s, the head of the anti-doping Inspectorate of the Olympic Committee of Russia Nikolay Durmanov has attracted Rodchenkova to work together with a vision to lead the anti-Doping centre”, writes portal sports.ru. In 2005, Rodchenkov, indeed, became acting Director of the center, and from 6 July 2006 to 11 November 2015, he was its Director.

In 2013, the Moscow anti-doping centre and its head was in the center of the scandal. Sister Rodchenkova, three-time world champion on the run Marina Rodchenkova was found guilty and sentenced under article “Illegal circulation of strong or poisonous substances for the purpose of sale”. Kuntsevsky district court of Moscow found her guilty of illegal acquisition and storage to sales, and also illegal sale of potent substances which are not narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances in large scale. According to the materials of the criminal case, Rodchenkova acquired to anabolic steroids used in professional sports (testosterone, Oxandrolone, methandienone), in order to further sales. The sentence was one year and six months of imprisonment with serving in a corrective colony of a strict mode. But in the end, the judicial Board on criminal cases of the Moscow city court replaced the real period of conditional. The TV channel “360”, citing its own sources, on Friday published the material, from which it follows that Rodchenkov was also a defendant in a criminal case on the fact of trafficking in illicit drugs. In the same article says that the former head of the anti-doping lab allegedly was the diagnosis of mental disorders. That Rodchenkov was suspected of violations of anti-doping legislation, on Friday told journalists the Minister of sport Vitaly Mutko. In an interview with NYT he called “reflections of the person of the accused” (quoted by TASS).

In December 2013, the World anti-doping Agency (WADA), on the basis of its own investigation recommended that depriving the Moscow anti-doping centre of accreditation “due to insufficient reliability”. And in November 2015 WADA issued a report stating that the work of the Moscow anti-doping centre was actively involved, the FSB, and Rodchenkov before checking the WADA personally gave instructions to destroy 1417 doping tests athletes.

Version Rodchenkova, after the publication of the report by WADA, the Russian authorities forced him to resign. Rodchenkov claimed that he feared for his safety and moved to Los Angeles. The NYT notes that two of my colleagues Rodchenkova, former officials associated with the anti-doping services, died in February every few weeks.

The NYT notes that the information Rodchenkova cannot be verified from an independent source, however it is consistent with the information that were in the November report of WADA.

What was the reaction of the Russian authorities?

In an interview Rodchenkova is no reason to suspect the Russian sports officials, according to Russian authorities. The President’s press Secretary Dmitry Peskov has called the allegations in the NYT Rodchenkova “slander defector”. “They look absolutely unfounded these statements, they are not based on how much credible data is not backed up by some arguments”, — said the publication of the Sands. The Kremlin, most likely, was of the view voiced earlier by the Minister of sport Vitaly Mutko, said the press Secretary of the President.

Mutko on Thursday said that the accusations made are absurd. The article itself, the Minister promised to assess from a legal point of view. On Friday afternoon the Deputy Minister of sports Yuri Nagornykh said that the Ministry “is considering all legal aspects up to the court.” Peskov said that the Kremlin claims “potentially would support”. The readiness to sue Rodchenkova announced and Russian skier Alexander Legkov.

Deputies on Friday reiterated the statements of officials. A member of the Duma Committee for sports, Igor Ananskikh said, “the reason to talk about whether any of resignations no. “This is all an information war ahead of the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro,” he says. The Chairman of the Duma Committee on sport Dmitry Svishchev believes that you need to trust only the facts, not the statements of former employees, which, according to him, offended by Russia. In his opinion, it is unfounded accusations. “Much like the instructions from above and not from our country”, — he added. The MP also said that he had sent a request to the Russian anti-doping Agency with a request to clarify the situation.

What could be the consequences of the scandal for the results of the Olympiad in Sochi?

World anti-doping Agency (WADA) stated that the test of the anti-doping process in Sochi on may 10, after the appearance of the first reports of unsportsmanlike behavior of the Russian athletes in the broadcast channel CBS. “WADA without delay, check out these suspicions, – skazal the Agency head Craig reedy. – Made in the telecast charges represent a real cause for concern, because they contain new attempts to question the anti-doping process at Winter Olympics in Sochi.”

According to reed, Rodchenkov has been previously surveyed WADA about previous episodes of doping Russian athletes, “but then he didn’t share such information in relation to the Sochi Olympics”. On Thursday, after the publication of the NYT, reedy reiterated his promise to hold a check, and also said that WADA will continue to study the proposal of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on the introduction of Independent testing bodies.

Himself the IOC will wait for the outcome of the investigation of WADA, said in response to a request to RBC by the press service of the Committee. In the same response stated that the lab at the Sochi Olympics “was fully accredited” by the Committee. In the work of this laboratory was attended by international experts of the IOC, it also noodels “under the supervision of 15-20 experts from 10 of the WADA laboratories worldwide”, said the press service. Following the results of investigation by WADA, the IOC promises to make a decision about further actions, based on the policy of “zero tolerance” to acceptance of doping. The representatives of WADA and of its regional European division were unavailable for comment.

If the IOC will receive a confirmation of the revelations Rodchenkova, Russian athletes are proven guilty, will lose in Sochi won medals. In accordance with the provisions of the Olympic Charter, in case of disqualification or exclusion, the medals and diplomas gained at the Games, must be returned to the IOC. The decision is taken by the Executive Committee of the organization. The decision to deprive athletes ‘ reward money received at the national level, as national sports Federation and sponsors of the national team are engaged in the awarding of winners.

The deprivation of the Russian athletes awards, can dramatically change the picture of the unofficial medal standings of the Olympics. Russia at the games in Sochi won the first place in the team standings, earning 33 medals — 13 gold, 11 silver and 9 bronze. Only three mentioned Rodchenkova athletes won 5 medals including 4 gold. Deprivation of awards 15 athletes will mean that Russia will lose at least 17 medals in Sochi (the three mentioned Rodchenkova athletes won 5 medals including 4 gold). As a result, in the overall standings, Russia will be at best fourth, behind guaranteed USA, Canada and Norway.

Can Russia be excluded from participation in the summer games in Rio de Janeiro?

Participation and the removal of individual athletes or national federations from participating in games governed by the Olympic Charter — the basic document of the International Olympic movement. In the fifth Chapter of the Charter set out the circumstances under which the possible exclusion from participation in the Olympic games. The basic rules that must be followed by athletes and officials representing national federations two: to respect the spirit of fair play and non-violence and to abide by and comply in all respects with the world anti-doping code.

In the official clarification to this paragraph emphasizes that the duty to monitor compliance with these rules lies with the international federations, who have the right to suspend the membership of national federations in the case of violations. A recent example: the international athletics Federation (IAAF) disqualified the all-Russian athletics Federation (vfla) due to doping and corruption scandal, ousted Russian athletes from participation in all international competitions. The period of Ineligibility is not defined, the decision on the admission of the Russian sportsmen for participation in Olympic games in Rio will be adopted on 17 June on the IAAF Council.

Exposure Rodchenkova referred only to winter sports, so directly to national federations that are going to take part in the summer games, they will likely not threaten. But in the sixth Chapter, the Charter emphasizes that the IOC reserves the right, priostanavlenii the total membership of the national Committee, violating the basic Olympic principles, including anti-doping legislation. This decision may be taken by the Executive Committee or the IOC Session on the basis of the conducted investigation. The nearest IOC Session will be held from 1 to 4 August 2016 in Rio de Janeiro prior to the Olympic games.