MOSCOW, January 21. /TASS/. Former coach of the Russian biathlon women’s team Wolfgang Pichler has shared proof with the International Biathlon Union the World Anti-Doping Agency’s informer Grigory Rodchenkov lied about doping in Russian sports, as follows from a statement Pichler himself made to TASS.
During the December stage of the World Cup Pichler declared he had called a news conference with the intention to explain why he regarded claims by Rodchenkov, a former chief of the Moscow anti-doping laboratory, as falsehoods. Eventually Pichler canceled the news conference. The coach who currently leads the Swedish team has now made a decision to present all information at his disposal to an independent IBU panel where there will be no representatives of the United States or Canada. In a commentary to TASS made later Pichler said Rodchenkov’s statements were lies, adding that he was surprised and disappointed to see nobody was asking him about what had happened in Russia in reality.
"I have done it," Pichler said without elaborating how much time it would take the group to convey the details of the evidence he shared to the mass media.
Pichler trained Russia’s biathlon women’s team in 2011-2014. Olga Zaitseva and Yana Romanova, both members of his group, were found responsible for violating anti-doping rules at the Sochi Olympics by the disciplinary commission of the International Olympic Committee. A year ago both athletes protested that decision, but no hearings on the case have been held so far. Pichler has repeatedly said he was certain both athletes were innocent.
The Austrian authorities used Rodchenkov’s depositions as the basis for launching criminal proceedings against former IBU President Anders Besseberg on the suspicion of concealing Russian biathletes’ positive doping tests. In December, investigators visited the Russian team who had arrived in Austria for participation in the World Cup stage and in accordance with the Austrian rules of criminal procedure notified a number of Russian athletes and specialists an investigation was underway into suspected violations of anti-doping rules reportedly committed during the 2017 World Cup in Hochfilzen.