Whistleblower or turncoat, Russian anti-doping czar knows 'where bodies are buried'

Fri May 13, 2016 12:20pm EDT
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By Christian Lowe and Jack Stubbs

MOSCOW (Reuters) - The decision by Russia's former chief anti-doping scientist to come forward with details of what he described as an extensive program to cheat at the Sochi Olympics takes the crisis over drugs in Russian sport to a new level of severity.

It could suck in hundreds more athletes, keep Russian track-and-field competitors out of the Rio Olympics, force Russian President Vladimir Putin to purge his sports minister and tarnish one of Putin's proudest achievements: reviving Russian sport.

Allegations about officially-sanctioned doping in Russian sport have been rumbling for months, but Moscow has been able to argue the witnesses were unreliable and if there was wrongdoing, it was just a few isolated cases.

Comments by Grigory Rodchenkov, the former head of Russian sport's anti-doping laboratory who this week spoke publicly for the first time, will be harder to brush off.

According to a report commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), he was for years the kingpin in a sophisticated operation to cover up doping in which dozens of Russian sports officials were implicated.

"He knew if not everything, then nearly everything," Russia's leading sports newspaper, Sport Express, wrote on Friday.

"TURNCOAT"   Continued...

A woman walks into the head office for the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in Montreal, Quebec, Canada on November 9, 2015.  REUTERS/Christinne Muschi/File Photo/Files