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Moscow’s ex-doping lab chief likely to be mastermind of doping schemes — investigation

July 04, 19:10 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The Russian Investigative Committee says Moscow’s ex-doping lab chief sold banned medical substances and promised he would cover up in case they discovered in doping samples
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Ex-head of Moscow anti-doping laboratory Grigory Rodchenkov

Ex-head of Moscow anti-doping laboratory Grigory Rodchenkov

© ITAR-TASS/Vitaly Belousov

MOSCOW, July 4. /TASS/. A criminal investigation against ex-head of Moscow anti-doping laboratory Grigory Rodchenkov established that he was likely to be a mastermind behind the use of doping-abuse schemes and he had several accomplices, Vladimir Markin, a spokesman for the Russian Investigative Committee, told TASS on Monday.

The Russian Investigative Committee launched a criminal case against Rodchenkov on June 18 on charges of abuse of office. The case bases in particular on Rodchenkov’s allegations, who earlier announced that he substituted over 100 doping samples during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

"Investigators established after questioning witnesses that having in sight mercenary purposes Rodchenkov sold banned medical substances, which were used as performance enhancing drugs," Markin said in an interview with TASS.

"It has been also established that he had been illegally acquiring the substances at the issue in the United States and having sold them he used to promise his clients that he would cover up in case the banned substances were discovered in their doping samples."

"Investigators have reasons to believe that Rodchenkov was not simply a perpetrator, but the mastermind and organizer of a number of such schemes," Markin said.

"Investigators also believe that he [Rodchenkov] got rid of a number of doping samples with the aim covering up sales of banned performance enhancing drugs and to flee criminal responsibility, which stipulates harsher punishment compared to violations of WADA standards," Markin said.

The spokesman for the Russian Investigative Committee also said "there is a possibility that new suspects may emerge in the case of Rodchenkov."

The New York Times published an interview in mid-May with Rodchenkov, who claimed that the Russian sports authorities had allegedly prepared a special doping program for national athletes in order to win most of the medals at the home Winter Olympics in Sochi in 2014. The ex-doping official said some Russian Olympic gold medalists in Sochi took banned substances.

Rodchenkov announced his readiness to provide evidence to WADA (the World Anto-Doping Agency) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and also evidence about the need to re-check the doping samples from the 2014 Winter Olympics kept in Lausanne. The WADA Commission is expected to deliver its report before July 15.

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