Grigory Rodchenkov, who ran the Russian laboratory that handled testing for thousands of Olympians, has revealed dozens of Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, including at least 15 medal winners were part of a state-run doping program.
Rodchenkov revealed everything was meticulously planned for years to ensure dominance at the Sochi Games. The former director of the Russian lab remarked he developed a three-drug cocktail of banned substances that he mixed with liquor and offered to dozens of Russian athletes that helped to facilitate one of the most successful and elaborate doping ploys in sports history. This doping plan involved some of the most prominent stars of games, including 14 members of its cross-country ski team and two veteran bobsledders who won two gold medals.
It was disclosed by Rodchenkov that anti-doping experts and members of the intelligence service in a dark-of-night operation surreptitiously replaced urine samples tainted by performance-enhancing drugs with clean urine collected months earlier to somehow break into the supposedly tamper-proof bottles that are the standard at international competitions. Rodchenkov also said all used to work in a shadow lab that was lit by a single lamp for hours each night and urine bottles were passed through a hand-size hole in the wall, to be ready for testing the next day. Rodchenkov estimated as many as 100 dirty urine samples were expunged by the end of the Games and none of the athletes were caught doping.
Dr. Rodchenkov said people are celebrating Olympic champion winners, but we are sitting crazy and replacing their urine. Rodchenkov laid out the operation details over three days of interviews that were arranged by an American filmmaker, Bryan Fogel. The account of Dr. Rodchenkov could not be independently verified but it was very much consistent with the broad findings of a report published last year by the World Anti-Doping Agency. The former anti-doping lab director provided emails detailing doping efforts and a spreadsheet to The Times that he remarked were sent by the sports ministry to him before the Sochi Games and it named the athletes involved in the doping program.
Rodchenkov described his own contribution at the Sochi Olympics as a strong accomplishment and termed it the apex of a decade-long effort to perfect the doping strategy of Russia at international competitions. Rodchenkov remarked we were fully equipped, knowledgeable, experienced and perfectly prepared for Sochi like never before and added it was working like a Swiss watch.
Dr. Rodchenkov was awarded the prestigious Order of Friendship by President Vladimir V. Putin after the Sochi Games.
Few months before, Dr. Rodchenkov had a dramatic change in fortune. He was identified as the linchpin by the World Anti-Doping Agency last November in what it described as an extensive state-sponsored doping program in Russia. WADA accused Rodchenkov of extorting money from athletes, which he denies, and destroying hundreds of urine samples and covering up positive drug tests. Rodchenkov said Russian officials forced him to resign after the report came out. Rodchenkov moved to Los Angeles fearing for his safety with the help of American filmmaker Bryan Fogel
In a statement, Russia’s sports minister, Vitaly Mutko, called the revelations a continuation of the information attack on Russian sport.