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New revelations about historic Russian doping offences will have no bearing on reinstatement bid

27 Jul 2020 Daily Mail Online

New revelations about historic Russian doping offences will have no bearing on the country’s bid to be reinstated by World Athletics.

In an explosive new book which is published on Thursday, Moscow lab boss turned whistleblower Grigory Rodchenkov claims the Soviet Union boycotted the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles because they had such a big drugs problem that they feared being caught.

That is counter to the previously given narrative that they pulled out of the Games in retaliation at the USA’s decision to skip the 1980 Olympics in Moscow - a protest at the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

New revelations from whistleblower Grigory Rodchenkov will have no bearing on Russia's bid to be reinstated by World Athletics

 Rodchenkov claimed Moscow boycotted the 1984 Olympics due to their big drugs problem


But Rodchenkov’s alarming account will not impact Russia’s reinstatement process with World Athletics because it is outside the eight-year limitation on evidence, as set by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). However, their suspension is not expected to be lifted before next summer’s Games in any case.

The Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF) was suspended by World Athletics in 2015 over repeated doping scandals - a ban upheld 12 times - but has been fighting for readmission.

That reinstatement process was frozen earlier this month after RusAF failed to pay a £5million fine for doping offences on time.

Rodchenkov's account will not impact the appeal as it falls outside the limitation of evidence

Even clean Russian track and field stars are not currently allowed to compete as ‘authorised neutral athletes’ ahead of next summer’s Tokyo Games.

Across all sports, Russians are banned from competing under their country’s flag at the Olympics and other major international events following a major WADA ruling in December - but those who prove they are untainted can compete under a neutral flag.

Russia are also appealing their four-year ban and it will be heard by the Court of Arbitration for Sport in November.

Russians are banned from competing under their flag at the Olympics and other major events 

Rodchenkov, 61, was the director of Russia’s tainted anti-doping centre in Moscow from 2006 to 2015 before he became a whistleblower and helped convict hundreds of drug cheats. His autobiography, The Rodchenkov Affair, exposes decades of doping and debunks the theory as to why the Soviet Union withdrew from Los Angeles 1984.

In extracts published by Sportsmail on Sunday, Rodchenkov says: ‘The Soviets had been planning to hide a doping control laboratory on board a ship in the port of Los Angeles during the 1984 Olympic Games, after Manfred Donike (a senior IOC anti-doping official) and Don Catlin of UCLA’s Olympic Analytical Laboratory announced they would be able to detect all steroids - including stanozolol and testosterone.

‘When Los Angeles wouldn’t allow our ship to enter the harbour, that was the last straw. The Politburo pulled the plug and boycotted the Olympics entirely.’


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