4 December 2019

Planted LIMS forum messages again used to implicate Dr. Rodchenkov

The Russian Weightlifting Federation (RWF) has launched an investigation, after a Russian State broadcaster used messages planted into the Moscow Laboratory’s message forum by the Russian authorities to suggest that Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov covering up positive tests reported by weightlifters. The documentary (below), produced by State broadcaster NTV, ‘cited correspondence between the former employees of the Moscow Laboratory in a private chat within the LIMS [Laboratory Information Management System]’, read an RWF statement. ‘NTV journalists argue that such correspondence contains information about the anti-doping rule violations and crimes allegedly committed by the former Director of the Moscow Laboratory, Grigory Rodchenkov and his former Deputy, Timofey Sobolevsky, as well as athletes including weightlifters’.

However, an 89 page Report, produced by WADA into alleged manipulations of the LIMS data, found that forum messages relating to three weightlifters had been planted into the LIMS by the Russian authorities, as reported by The Sports Integrity Initiative last week. In evidence provided to WADA, the Russian authorities attempted to use the fabricated messages relating to the weightlifters as evidence that Drs. Rodchenkov and Sobolevsky were operating a criminal conspiracy in order to extort athletes in return for covering up positive tests. 

‘These fabricated messages were all specifically referenced in the Russia Technical Report (albeit with some minor differences in translation) and were subject of detailed analysis and interpretation’, reads the Report of WADA’s Intelligence and Investigations department to its Compliance Review Committee (CRC). ‘The conclusion drawn by the Russia Forensic Investigation in respect of these messages is that they evidence Doctors Rodchenkov and Sobolevsky’s scheme of extortion and manipulation of analysis results for money. In other words, they were the figurative “smoking gun” of incrimination against Doctor Rodchenkov and Doctor Sobolevsky. However, they were fabricated and “created” into the LIMS on or after 25 November 2018, but before 10 January 2019.’

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