THE whistleblower who reported Russia’s alleged doping cover-up at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics has been accused by the state of supplying the drugs.
Russia’s inquiry unit says athletes did not know Grigory Rodchenkov had given them performance-enhancing drugs.
Rodchenkov was the director of Moscow’s anti-doping laboratory.
The accusation comes a week before Russia finds out if its Olympic ban for state-sponsored doping will be lifted before the 2018 Pyeongchang Games.
“It was established that Rodchenkov personally supplied the athletes and coaches with medicines whose proven features were not known to them but which later were established to constitute performance-enhancing drugs,” the Investigative Committee of Russia said in a statement.
It adds that he destroyed the athletes’ samples and then accused Russia of implementing a doping programme.
The World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) has previously accused Rodchenkov of asking for and accepting bribes and destroying more than 1,400 blood and urine samples.
He fled to the United States in January 2016 after Moscow’s court issued an arrest warrant.
The McLaren report, published in 2016 and commissioned by Wada, alleged state-sponsored doping in Russia. It detailed evidence of an “institutionalised and disciplined medal-winning conspiracy” that operated in Russia between 2011 and 2015. More than 1,000 Russian athletes – including Olympic medallists – were said to have benefited.
The country denies its involvement in doping.
Russia’s anti-doping body Rusada was declared “non-compliant” and the country’s track and field team was banned from the 2016 Rio Olympics, and also the 2017 World Athletics Championships.
The International Olympic Committee will next week hear the results of two investigations into Russian doping before making its decision on whether the country should compete in Pyeongchang. –bbc.com