20 March 2017

Whistleblower Dmitriev forced to flee Russia

Andrey Dmitriev, the Russian whistleblower who secretly filmed banned coaches training elite Russian athletes in January this year, has been forced to flee Russia against his will. Dmitriev said that following the release of the documentary, he had been fired by two training centres in his home town, and that he had been threatened.

‘Many saw my interview and the evidence that I provided in a negative sense’, he told Sportschau. ‘They called me a traitor, a liar, and – excuse my language please – they poured tons of shit on me. Right after the interview I was fired from both training centers in my home town where I was getting paid my stipend as an athlete…Some journalists even came to my 90+  years old grandparents and lied to them about my motivation to come forward.’

Military service is compulsory in Russia, but is something that Dmitriev has managed to avoid – until now. ‘I never broke the law, but I did not ever report to the recruitment office for the army’, he told Sportschau. ‘I am now 27. They did not care about me ever since I was 18 years old, did not search for me or whatever. But suddenly they appeared – right after my interview with ARD. I am sure that this was not a coincidence…It was in January. For whatever reason they knew that I was at that time staying at a hostel. They came without advanced notice and tried to take away my passport, tackled me and threatened to put me in jail right now. Two of them holding me like if I was a gangster or something. They made me sign a paper saying that I will report to the recruitment office on Feb. 27. I had no choice. To go to jail would have been a purposeless heroism that nobody needs.’

Russia has consistently denied that the doping system outlined in the two Independent Commission and two Independent Person Reports produced for the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) was orchestrated by the Russian State. Papa Massata Diack, son of former International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) President Lamine Diack, details a 2011 agreement made between former Russian Minister for Sport Vitaly Mutko that the announcement of Russian doping positives would be delayed until after the 2013 Moscow IAAF World Championships, in order to avoid affecting sponsorship negotiations with VTB Bank. That agreement was made when Lamine Diack was decorated with the Order of Friendship by former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. Mutko has since been promoted to Deputy Prime Minister.

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