Former Russian anti-doping boss says no Russian athletes should take part in Olympics

The entrance to the building of the Russian Olympic Committee in Moscow EPA-EFE/SERGEI ILNITSKY

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Former Russian anti-doping boss turned whistleblower Grigory Rodchenkov said that no Russian athletes should be allowed to take part in next year’s postponed Tokyo Olympics.

WADA, the World Anti-Doping Agency had last year banned Russia for four years from major global sporting events including the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and the 2022 World Cup in Qatar over manipulated doping data. Russia is appealing the ban at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

Some Russians will still be allowed to compete at next year’s Games in Japan as neutrals and only if they can demonstrate they were not part of what WADA believes was a state-sponsored system of doping. This generally applies to athletes who are based and trained abroad.

However, in a frank interview with BBC, Rodchenkov insisted the ban should be complete.
“It should be an absolute blanket ban without any excuses or admissions of athletes,” he said.

“The same personnel who were smuggling and swapping samples during Sochi (the 2014 Winter Games), they were falsifying all documentation. It was a progression in falsifying, day by day, of this data — an incredible fraud of unspeakable proportions. It shows the country learns absolutely nothing.”

Russia has on various occasions denied the allegations, and claimed the four-year sanction is politically motivated. Its appeal will be heard by CAS in November.

Rodchenkov, who lives under a new identity in the United States, has written an autobiography that is being published this week.

It coincides with the original dates for the Tokyo Games, which were postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Read more via The Moscow Times.

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