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Russian minister says anti-doping laboratory ex-chief's allegations on doping were false

May 30, 2016, 18:08 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The ex-head of Moscow anti-doping laboratory claimed that a Russian Sports Ministry official used to send him lists of athletes whose doping samples were to be to substitutes during the Sochi Olympics

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Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko

Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko

© Vladimir Gerdo/TASS

MOSCOW, May 30. /TASS/. Statements made earlier in the month by ex-head of Moscow anti-doping laboratory Grigory Rodchenkov on alleged doping abuse by Russian athletes at 2014 Olympics are false, Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said on Monday.

"Any attempt to open a [doping] sample cannot go unnoticed," Mutko said during "Pozner" television talk show on Russian Channel One. "It is simply impossible and every stage [of doping test] was not under our control."

"I cannot confirm his [Rodchenkov’s] allegations," Mutko said. "The government was not involved in it."

In an interview with New York Times, published in mid-May, ex-head of Moscow anti-doping laboratory Rodchenkov claimed that an unnamed official from the Russian Sports Ministry used sending him lists of national athletes, whose doping samples he had to substitute during the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

Rodchenkov also said that he developed a special cocktail consisting of three banned doping substances intended for the national athletes at home Games two years ago.

On the whole, the ex-doping official claimed that the Russian sports authorities allegedly prepared a special doping program for national athletes in order to win most of the medals at home Winter Olympics in Sochi in 2014. Rodchenkov added that some Russian Olympic gold medalists in Sochi took banned substances.

The Russian sports minister also said that in case Rodchenkov’s involvement in the substitution of doping samples at the 2014 Olympics was proved, the Russian authorities would launch a criminal probe against him.

"This is a criminal case and he must stand a trial," Mutko said.

"Following orders from the Russian president we have handed over all material to the [Russian State] Investigative Committee and a relevant investigation is currently underway."

"I may now state firmly and in publicity that the Russian authorities have nothing to do with it," he said. "Moreover, since 2010 the Russian authorities led a consistent fight against doping abuse."

Following the publication of the US daily, the IOC requested the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to initiate an investigation into allegations that testing at the Sochi Laboratory was subverted. The IOC also urged the Russian Olympic authorities to provide full assistance in WADA’s new probe.

The Russian Olympic team finished the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi in the first place with the overall result of 33 won medals (13 gold, 11 silver and 9 bronze medals) surpassing its previous Winter Olympics record of 11 gold medals, set at the 1994 Winter Games in Norway’s Lillehammer.


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