2 April 2018

Russia admits systemic conspiracy to hide evidence of doping

Russia’s Minister of Sport, Pavel Kolobkov, has said that there “was a systemic conspiracy to hide evidence of doping use” at the State level, but that such conspiracy was confined to “certain individuals with certain names” in an interview published by Russia’s Ministry of Sport. He denies that the Russian State was behind the organisation of such a system, and argued that many of the allegations made about sample swapping at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics were impossible to carry out.

“A number of allegations relating to the methodology used to allegedly substitute doping tests in Sochi are not supported by the testimonies of anti-doping officers”, he argues. “Some things that are described in the report it is physically impossible to do – either in terms of time or space. It opened a lot of circumstantial evidence, which for some reason has not been studied, or interpreted only in favour of one version […] But nobody at the State level attempted to create a sort of system that would allow us to win medals dishonestly.”

The Ministry of Sport also announced that it had begun training courses entitled ‘Ethics in sport: the Key Aspects of Anti-Doping Activities’ for representatives of regional authorities in charge of sport. The course has been organised by the Ministry of Sport, the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) and the School of Business and International Competences (MGIMO).

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