28th June 2017

Separate sample swapping system alleged in Russian football

A separate doping sample-swapping system was in operation in Russian football from the one identified in the Independent Person (IP) Reports produced for the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), alleges Richard McLaren, author of the Reports. “We would conclude, from what information we do have, that there must be a different system operating in football than the ones which we reported on”, he told ARD in an investigation into doping within Russian football (video below).

ARD’s investigation alleges that on 5 June 2015, notification was sent that sample 3878295 involved an adverse analytical finding (AAF) for dexamethasone involving a current Russian national team footballer. Dexamethasone is a glucocorticoid, and as such is only prohibited in competition ‘when administered by oral, intravenous, intramuscular, or rectal routes’ under Section S9 of WADA’s Prohibited List. ARD alleges that a discussion took place on how the footballer’s urine could be swapped for ‘clean’ urine, which McLaren said “raises suspicion” that there is a separate clean bank of urine that exists outside of those already identified by WADA investigations.

In ARD’s video, McLaren also reveals that 155 samples relating to Russian footballers have been seized by WADA, in addition to the 30 samples referred to in the documents unearthed by ARD. The documents mention Aleksey Velikodny, an employee of Russia’s State Sports Training Centre who features in 29 documents within the IP Reports’ Evidential Disclosure Package (EDP). Most of these documents involve discussions with Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov, former Director of the Moscow Laboratory, about how to deal with AAFs.

Vitaly Mutko was directly implicated by WADA as covering up the positive test of a Russian footballer…

Earlier this week, the Mail on Sunday reported that FIFA was investigating claims of doping within Russian football. “Fifa has simply confirmed that, in close collaboration with WADA, it is still investigating the allegations involving football players in the so-called McLaren report”, a FIFA spokesperson told the BBC. “However, Fifa did not refer to any particular players, since it cannot comment on the status of ongoing investigations”. Alexey Sorokin, CEO of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia local organising committee (LOC), told the BBC that any claims of doping within Russia’s national team are “made up news”.

However, Sorokin’s boss is Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko, who is President of the Russian Football Union as well as Chairing the Russia 2018 LOC. Mutko was Minster for Sport during the period of systemic doping outlined by the two Independent Commission (IC) Reports and two IP Reports commissioned by WADA, and was directly implicated as covering up the positive test of a top Russian footballer. He has also been appointed to Chair the organising committee for MINEPS VI, a UNESCO-sanctioned conference discussing the integrity of sport.

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