New doping allegations hard to prove, says former WADA chief

Wed May 11, 2016 8:15pm EDT
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By Steve Keating

MONTREAL (Reuters) - Dick Pound, the former World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) chief who headed an independent commission that uncovered evidence of state-sponsored doping in Russia, says new allegations of a drugs cover-up at the Sochi Olympics may be hard to prove.

WADA meetings of its executive committee and foundation board on Wednesday and Thursday have taken on new urgency after whistleblower Vitaly Stepanov said the former head of Russia's drug testing lab told him that at least four Russian gold medal winners at the 2014 Winter Games were using steroids.

Stepanov and wife Yuliya, an international runner for Russia once banned for doping, were the whistleblowers who provided key evidence that led to the establishment of a WADA independent commission that revealed widespread doping in Russia and led to that country being banned from all athletics competition.

WADA announced on Tuesday it would investigate the new allegations and could ask the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for a re-test of the Sochi doping samples.

During an interview with the CBS News investigative program "60 Minutes" on Sunday, Stepanov, a former employee with the Russian Anti-Doping Agency, said he had recorded conversations with Grigory Rodchenkov, RUSADA's former head.

CBS News said it had listened to the tapes in which Rodchenkov brags that at least four Russian athletes won gold medals in Sochi while using steroids.


World Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA) former president, Dick Pound, who heads the commission into corruption and doping in athletics, gestures at a news conference in Unterschleissheim near Munich, Germany, January 14, 2016. REUTERS/Michael Dalder