MOSCOW, November 28. /TASS/. Russian businessman Mikhail Prokhorov, former president of the Russian Biathlon Union, has said he is prepared to initiate court proceedings against the former chief of the Moscow anti-doping laboratory Grigory Rodchenkov, the main informer in the investigation of an allegedly state-sponsored doping system in Russia.
On Monday, the International Olympic Committee imposed a lifetime ban on another five Russian athletes, including biathletes Yana Romanova and Olga Vilukhina, prohibiting them from participation in Olympic Games, and annulled their results at the Sochi Olympics. In Sochi, Vilukhina won the silver in the sprint and relay races, where Russia was also represented by Romanova, Olga Zaitseva and Yekaterina Shumilova.
"If Yana Romanova and Olga Vilukhina decide to fight back to defend their honor and reputation, I will be prepared to provide any legal and financial support," Prokhorov told TASS. "We have some positive experience in this respect. I am prepared to invite the best lawyers to protect the interests of our biathletes in any country of the world, there where this will be most appropriate. I am certain that one litigation should be initiated in the United States, where Rodchenkov can be questioned," said Prokhorov, who led the Russian Biathlon Union in 2008-2014.
"Our athletes must have an opportunity to confront in person the man whose claims have served as the basis for this outrage of lawlessness in sports," Prokhorov said.
The IOC’s disciplinary commission under Denis Oswald, which annulled the results of 19 Russian athletes at the Sochi Olympics and banned them from participation in Olympic Games for life has published the first motivation part of the verdict pronounced in the case of Aleksandr Legkov, who in 2014 triumphed in the ski marathon. The IOC decision was based on Rodchenkov’s depositions, the "Duchess" doping list he presented, and scratches on the test tubes containing the athletes’ doping samples.
"I am sincerely surprised by the stance of our sports functionaries, who have long been idle spectators to all this. It’s eighteen months since the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, where we for the first time experienced an unfounded attack against our Olympic athletes and parathletes. The situation around our athletes has turned for the worse since. What have the functionaries done about all that?" Prokhorov asked.
He is certain that it is the duty of both current and former officials to defend clean athletes.
"It is essential to put an end to this absolute lawlessness, which is ruining the world of sports and the lives of people who have dedicated themselves entirely to sports careers and the national flag. It is essential to explain in the language of court rulings to all these rodchenkovs, schmids, oswalds and their likes in the IOC and WADA that this outrage will cost them their reputation, profession and money. Everything has to be paid for. The price of injustice must double," he said.
After the results of 19 Russian athletes have been annulled the number of medals Russia won at the Sochi Games has reduced to 24 - ten golds, five silvers, and nine bronzes. Russia is now number three in the unofficial overall team standing.