Ar­rest war­rant for Rus­sian whis­tle-blower

For­mer anti-dop­ing di­rec­tor on in­ter­na­tional wanted list

Global Times - - Sports -

A Moscow court said Thurs­day it had is­sued an ar­rest war­rant for Rus­sian whis­tle-blower Grig­ory Rod­chenkov, who helped or­ches­trate the coun­try’s state-spon­sored Olympic dop­ing pro­gram and has since fled to the US.

“The in­ves­ti­ga­tors put Rod­chenkov on an in­ter­na­tional wanted list. Our court on Septem­ber 21 is­sued a rul­ing to ar­rest him in ab­sen­tia since he is wanted in­ter­na­tion­ally,” the court’s spokes­woman Yunona Tsareva told AFP.

The move means Rus­sia will be able to re­quest that the US ex­tra­dite Rod­chenkov, but the two coun­tries do not have an ex­tra­di­tion treaty.

The spokes­woman said that Rod­chenkov’s de­fense team has ap­pealed against his ar­rest.

Rod­chenkov, 58, is the for­mer di­rec­tor of Moscow’s anti-dop­ing lab that over­saw drug test­ing at the 2014 Win­ter Olympic Games in Rus­sia’s Black Sea city of Sochi.

He headed the lab from 2006 to 2015 be­fore flee­ing to the US.

In May 2016 he gave an in­ter­view to The New York Times de­scrib­ing an elab­o­rate dop­ing scheme that he said in­volved dozens of Rus­sian ath­letes at the Sochi Games.

A bomb­shell re­port by a World An­tiDop­ing Agency (WADA) in­de­pen­dent com­mis­sion pub­lished in 2016 said Rod­chenkov had ad­mit­ted to “in­ten­tion­ally de­stroy­ing” 1,417 test sam­ples ahead of an au­dit.

It said Rus­sia’s coverup scheme af­fected 30 sports and was in oper­a­tion from 2010 un­til 2015.

The Rus­sian Anti-Dop­ing Agency (RUSADA) was de­clared “non­com­pli­ant” with in­ter­na­tional sport’s an­tidop­ing code in Novem­ber 2015 af­ter rev­e­la­tions by Rus­sian ath­letes in a doc­u­men­tary aired by Ger­many’s ARD tele­vi­sion chan­nel.

Rus­sia’s track-and-field Olympic squad and en­tire Par­a­lympic team were barred from Rio 2016 and the coun­try re­mains banned from in­ter­na­tional ath­let­ics.

Rus­sia has con­sis­tently de­nied run­ning a state-run dop­ing pro­gram, with deputy prime min­is­ter and for­mer sports min­is­ter Vi­taly Mutko pin­ning all the blame on Rod­chenkov’s lab­o­ra­tory and RUSADA.

“We’ve ac­knowl­edged that this man him­self vi­o­lated all the WADA rules, reg­u­la­tions and stan­dards,” Mutko told R-Sport news agency on Mon­day.

The in­ves­tiga­tive com­mit­tee, which probes se­ri­ous crimes, opened a crim­i­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion into Rod­chenkov in 2016, ac­cus­ing him of abuse of of­fice, for which he could serve up to 10 years in jail.

The Rus­sian in­ves­ti­ga­tion al­leges that Rod­chenkov com­mit­ted vi­o­la­tions in­clud­ing de­stroy­ing sam­ples on his own ini­tia­tive, in or­der to con­ceal er­rors and keep his job.

They also al­leged the lead­er­ship of WADA could have or­dered Rod­chenkov to de­stroy sam­ples.

The deputy head of the in­ves­tiga­tive com­mit­tee Ilya Lazu­tov said in Novem­ber that ev­i­dence sug­gested “Rod­chenkov for a long time, in­clud­ing for ma­te­rial gain, used his of­fi­cial po­si­tion to in­duce ath­letes to use dop­ing.”

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