Thursday, February 1, 2018

Putin Approved and Covered Up Russia’s Sports Doping System, Rodchenkov Says



Paul Goble

            Staunton, January 31 – Grigory Rodchenkov, the former head of the Moscow Anti-Doping Laaboratory who has helped WADA expose the Russian state program of doping in athletics says that Vladimir Putin was behind this illegal effort: “All the orders came from the president of the country,” he says in a trailer to a ne German film about the practice.

            “Only [Putin] could place before the FSB such tasks. [He] knew about the doping program and Russia,” the whistle blower adds in words that recall the remarks of Deep Throat in the classic American film “All the President’s Men”: “don’t think that little Donald Segretti could have organized all this by himself" (gazeta.ru/sport/news/2018/01/29/n_11105881.shtml).

            Rodchenkov’s words put the responsibility for the crime of Russian doping squarely where it belongs: inside the Kremlin walls. But he says that Putin had help: the international system was far too trusting (graniru.org/Society/Sports/m.267320.html) and Russians had been doing this since Soviet times (versia.ru/rodchenkov-dopingovaya-sistema-v-rossii-yeto-nasledie-sssr).

            “The mentality of Russians remains as it was,” the whistleblower says. “This is the mentality of deception, lies, and denial. Now much is said that Russia is making big steps forward so that Russian sportsmen have become ‘the cleanest’ in the world. Of course, this is simply propaganda for the masses” (ura.news/news/1052321935).

                Rodchenkov added that he was proud of what he had done: “I have told people the truth. Russia is a country where already for a long time there is neither shame nor morality. I am ashamed that I am a Russian” in this situation.

            His comments came as Vladimir Putin was apologizing to Russia’s athletes not for what he and his system have done but rather for the fact that the Kremlin had been unable to protect them from international attacks on their country because of the doping scandal (spektr.press/news/2018/01/31/putin-izvinilsya-pered-rossijskimi-olimpijcami/).

                But at the same time, the Russian president insisted that the IOC sanctions were proving counter-productive because sports in general play a key role in unifying Russia against such foreign threats (rbc.ru/politics/30/01/2018/5a705e809a794720f02836e0?from=main).

            Even as Putin was making those comments, another such threat appeared on the horizon: FIFA announced that it was launching its own investigation into reports about illegal drug use by Russian footballers. That could lead to their expulsion from the World Cup Russia is hosting this year – or even Russia’s loss of the right to host it (lenta.ru/news/2018/01/30/rusfootballdopping/).

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