WADA President: 'We Want Russia to Play by the Rules'
Providing information on Russia's doping program during the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics “isn't a political game,” president of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Craig Reedie said in an interview with sports news website rsport.ru.
Reedie said that the doping information was coming from people who want to help Russia comply with the rules and live by them.
A report published Thursday by The New York Times cited the former director of the Russian anti-doping laboratory (RUSADA) Grigory Rodchenkov, who said that dozens of Russian athletes — including 15 medal winners — participated in a state-run doping program. He admitted to developing a three-drug cocktail of banned substances for Russian athletes. The revelation included 14 members of Russia's cross-country ski team and two gold-medal winners in the bobsled, the NYT reported.
Russia won the most medals of the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games, an event meant to showcase Russian power after tens of billions of dollars were spent to transform the Black Sea resort. The NYT cited Rodchenkov as saying: “We were fully equipped, knowledgeable, experienced and perfectly prepared for Sochi. It was working like a Swiss watch.”
The information provided by Rodchenkov — who now lives in Los Angeles, California — is now being independently verified.
A spokesperson for the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said that the allegations were “very detailed and very worrying” and that WADA needs to conduct an immediate investigation, the BBC reported.
"The laboratory in Sochi was fully accredited by WADA. The IOC also relied on the work of its own international experts in the laboratory — the Games group,” the IOC spokesperson said, the BBC reported. The spokesperson added that following the WADA investigation, the IOC would proceed with its usual policy of zero tolerance for doping.
Russian Sports Ministеr Vitaly Mutko said on Thursday that Rodchenkov's allegations were “absurd,” state news agency TASS reported. He said Russian athletes were “under control” before, after and during the Sochi Olympics and that any accusations against them are “unfounded.”