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Deputy PM lauds Russian investigators’ ‘tremendous work’ in former anti-doping chief probe

November 08, 14:39 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The Russian Investigative Committee announced on Wednesday that it would seek Rodchenkov’s extradition

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MOSCOW, November 8. /TASS/. Russia’s Investigative Committee has done great work in investigating the activity of former Russian Anti-Doping Laboratory Head Grigory Rodchenkov, the country’s Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko told TASS on Wednesday.

Moscow has opened a criminal case against Rodchenkov on charges of official misconduct and the destruction of athletes’ doping samples and put him on an international wanted list.

The Russian Investigative Committee announced on Wednesday that it would seek Rodchenkov’s extradition to Russia. In addition, an obstruction of justice charge is being filed against Rodchenkov, who absconded to the US back in late 2015 and has remained in hiding there ever since.

"The Investigative Committee has done tremendous work, having questioned over 700 witnesses among athletes and officials. Many various expert inquiries were carried out and it was established that there have never been, nor are there now any deliberations on any state doping program in Russia. However, the issue of primary concern here is about the misconduct of an individual who made a fortune by distributing [doping substances] and covering it up," Mutko stressed.

"We are trying to show to the entire world that we couldn’t have interfered in the affairs [of the Moscow Anti-Doping Laboratory] and we were not able to do that. The Investigative Committee has made a statement and I hope it will draw attention. This is because what we see now is that there are no inquiries and neither Rodchenkov nor [Richard] McLaren are present at the hearings. This is a partial examination," the official said.

"We have had no doping programs. We won the [2014] Olympics fair and square. Regarding doping control, it was not handled by the Russian Federation, yet this fact is swept under the rug and it is unclear why. The International Olympic Committee, international federations and WADA are in charge of doping control at Olympic Games," Mutko pointed out.

Last year, the Independent Commission of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) chaired by Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren released a report on the outcome of a probe into alleged doping schemes at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games.

The report was based on testimony given by former Moscow Anti-Doping Laboratory chief Rodchenkov, who accused Russia of allegedly conducing a state sponsored doping scheme.

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