July 18, 2016 12:04 pm

Russian doping scandal: Who is Grigory Rodchenkov?

Richard McLaren says Moscow drug testing lab routinely ignored evidence of positive drug tests for Russian athletes


Doping was widespread among Russian athletes at the Sochi Olympics, according to the results of an independent investigation released on Monday.

That investigation, by the World Anti-Doping Agency, was inspired largely by allegations made by one man: Grigory Rodchenkov.

READ MORE: Report confirms Russian sample-swapping, widespread doping during Olympics

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Rodchenkov, the former director of Russia’s Moscow and Sochi antidoping laboratories, described to reporters from the New York Times and 60 Minutes in May how he helped dozens of Russian athletes cheat at the Sochi Olympics.

Some of the claims he made were that he developed a cocktail of banned substances, mixed them with liquor, and provided them to the sports ministry. He also described how tainted urine samples were surreptitiously replaced with clean urine – passed through a small hole in a wall in the middle of the night.

The WADA report released Monday found that Rodchenkov’s claims were supported by evidence.

Rodchenkov is paying for his role in Russia’s doping scheme though. He was identified in a WADA investigation in November 2015 as an “aider and abetter” of the doping activities and that the presence of state security services in his Moscow lab contributed to the intimidation of the laboratory staff. He also admitted to intentionally destroying 1,417 samples in order to frustrate WADA’s investigation.

He claimed that after WADA’s first report came out in November, he was forced to resign by the Russian government. He has since moved to the United States, fearing for his safety.

He may have had reason to be afraid: two former top officials at the Russian antidoping agency died suddenly in February, one of them after he resigned in response to the WADA report.

© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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