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Ex-Russian anti-doping chief faces obstruction of justice charges

November 08, 11:57 UTC+3

Rodchenkov is under investigation for abuse of power and destruction of athletes’ doping samples

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Grigory Rodchenkov

Grigory Rodchenkov

© Vitaly Belousov/TASS

MOSCOW, November 8. /TASS/. The Russian Investigative Committee is pressing a criminal charge of obstruction of justice against ex-Russian Anti-Doping boss and WADA informant Grigory Rodchenkov, the Investigative Committee’s Spokesperson Svetlana Petrenko said.

"Due to this, a criminal case has been opened against Rodchenkov, Sobolevsky and other hitherto unidentified individuals under the section of obstructing the preliminary investigation."

Besides, a criminal investigation against Rodchenkov for official misconduct and tampering with evidence by destroying athletes’ doping samples is being conducted.

Rodchenkov and his abuse of power 

Grigory Rodchenkov had asked the former director of Russia’s anti-doping center, Maria Dikunets, to provide the database of athletes’ primary doping tests in exchange for money and asylum in the United States or Canada, Investigative Committee spokeswoman elaborated.

"It has been established that Rodchenkov and former chief of the doping control section Timofey Sobolevsky, currently residing in the United States and cooperating with Professor Richard McLaren, had made repeated phone calls to the former director of the anti-doping center Maria Dikunets, offering her cash payments and asylum in the US or Canada and citizenship in one of these countries in exchange for the database of athletes’ primary tests," she said.

Petrenko said the databases on hard discs had been confiscated in accordance with the applicable legal proceedings and were being studied by the investigators.

"I believe that this circumstance does not testify in favor of the hasty and conflicting conclusions WADA and McLaren made," she stated.

Petrenko said Dikunets had notified detectives at her own discretion of the offers she was getting.

"All of her further conversations with Rodchenkov, Sobolevsky were recorded in the proper fashion and are at the investigators’ disposal," the spokeswoman added.
"Actions by Rodchenkov, Sobolevsky and others are evidence of their attempts to hinder a thorough, complete and impartial investigation of the criminal case, which is a criminal offense according to international statues and Russian legislation," the IC believes.

"In this connection criminal proceedings have been launched against Rodchenkov, Sobolevsky and other yet to be established persons over creating hindrances to an investigation [Part 2 of Article 294 of Russia’s Criminal Code]," Petrenko explained.

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