Doping allegations reach new quality

13.05.2016 - Public Relations

Antidoping Switzerland calls for suspension of Russian athletes

In an interview with the New York Times on 12 May 2016, the former director of the Russian anti-doping laboratory, Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov, described an elaborate, state-run programme of manipulating samples. He alleged that, during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, doping samples were exchanged overnight. This meant that during the Games dozens of Russian athletes were able to dope yet take part in their competitions undetected. Among them were at least 15 medal winners. Dr. Rodchenkov also said that he used his knowledge as head of the laboratory to mix a cocktail of anabolic steroids and give these to athletes so that they could cope with more rigorous training regimes and were able to recover more quickly. The statements could not be verified by the New York Times.

Antidoping Switzerland is concerned by these latest revelations. “After the recent revelations of doping use in Russia, however, this potential state doping regime is new only in its quality,” said Matthias Kamber, director of Antidoping Switzerland. “In the past we have repeatedly pointed out that the institutions involved in the global fight against doping must be more independent of sports and politics and receive sufficient funding.”

If Dr. Rodchenkov’s statements prove to be true, this represents a temporary low point in the international fight against doping. Antidoping Switzerland expects that, based on the current available evidence and considering the overriding interests, all Russian athletes will be excluded from all international competitions with immediate effect until there has been a legally binding clarification of the facts.