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Court recognizes Russia’s Sports Ministry as affected party in WADA whistleblower case

April 24, 18:48 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Russia’s Sports Ministry is preparing to file a lawsuit, an investigator said in the court

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Former head of the Moscow anti-doping laboratory Grigory Rodchenkov

Former head of the Moscow anti-doping laboratory Grigory Rodchenkov

© Vitaly Belousov/TASS

MOSCOW, April 24. /TASS/. A Moscow court has recognized Russia’s Sports Ministry as an affected party in the case of former head of the Moscow anti-doping laboratory Grigory Rodchenkov accused of power abuse, a TASS correspondent reports from the courtroom.

"Russia’s Sports Ministry has been recognized as an affected party and they are currently preparing to file a lawsuit," an investigator said in the court. 

It follows from the case files that considerable property damage was inflicted on the Russian Sports Ministry along with the damage caused to its business reputation. The Moscow City Court has convened on Monday to hear a complaint about the arrest of the property of Rodchenkov’s daughter, namely, the seizure of a land site in the Moscow Region and a home belonging to Rodchenkov’s daughter Marina Balakina.

The counsel for the defense insisted on annulling the property’s seizure, referring to the absence of evidence that the property had been received as a result of Rodchenkov’s criminal actions.

"The house and the land site were given as a wedding present to his daughter back in 2006," the lawyer insisted.

However, investigators believe that the house was built on the land site with the money obtained from the sale of prohibited substances.

Moscow’s Basmanny Court ruled in August last year on the investigator’s petition to seize Rodchenkov’s plot of land as an injunctive measure. A criminal case has been opened against Rodchenkov in Russia on the charges of the abuse of power.

On July 18, 2016, the independent commission of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) chaired by Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren released a report on the results of a probe into the alleged doping schemes at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games. The report claimed that doping tests were changed in Russia in 643 cases between 2012 and 2015, and that athletes in 30 sports were involved in that system.

Grigory Rodchenkov, who now lives in the United States, claimed in an interview with The New York Times published in mid-May last year that Russia’s sports authorities allegedly prepared a special doping program for national athletes in order to win most of the medals at the Winter Olympics in Sochi in 2014.

The ex-official claimed that he had received a list of athletes whose doping tests had to be changed from a Russian Sports Ministry representative every night during the Olympics. Rodchenkov also said he had invented a special "cocktail" made of three banned formulas, which he gave to dozens of Russian athletes during the games.

Rodchenkov headed Russia’s anti-doping center in 2006-2015. He has been in the United States since January 2016 and is a WADA informer.

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