“Politicization of this kind of action”
Two weeks passed after the verdict of the Executive Committee of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) was announced, however, the issue of participation of the national team in international competitions continues to concern not only athletes, coaches and fans, but also representatives of other areas.
So, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov spoke about the situation during his speech at the Federation Council. In his opinion, the WADA decision cannot be called objective.
“But when all the pathos in the fight against doping goes exclusively to joining the voice of those who want to restrain Russia in all directions - they probably have a basis for assessing the politicization of this kind of action,” the politician said.
He emphasized that the Russian side had already recognized the facts of the use of prohibited drugs, after which the corresponding conclusions were drawn and the entire anti-doping system was reformed.
In addition, he expressed the hope that WADA would take note of the new data released by the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation. Recall, on December 21, the agency announced that it had found evidence of changes to the databases of the Moscow anti-doping laboratory by ex-head of the institution Grigory Rodchenkov.
“We’ll see how WADA can openly, transparently and honestly discuss this issue,” Lavrov added.
Rodchenkov himself, currently residing in the United States under the witness protection program, has recently reacted infrequently to what is happening in Russian sports, but the accusations of the UK did not go unnoticed. An American attorney, Jim Walden, spoke on behalf of the informant. He again denied that his client was involved in fraud with the Moscow laboratory database and accused Russia of lying.
“Rodchenkov could not enter and did not enter the LIMS database. We don’t know that anyone else would go there. The bottom line is that this is all a farce. Another Russian lie. They know where I am. I have not received a single request for an interview. If WADA or any other agency wants Gregory to testify, he will keep his promise to fully cooperate with the investigation in order to make amends, ”Walden quotes AP.
In Russia, it is believed that the emergence of new details may play a key role in the case of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA). However, Russian State Duma deputy and president of the Curling Federation of Russia (FCR) Dmitry Svishchev suggested that Rodchenkov is supported by more influential people who benefit from the current situation in Russian sports.
“Rodchenkov himself is nothing but the fact that he became famous for creating the famous cocktail and the criminal laboratory, because of which we got it in full. He escaped to America from persecution and received patrons who helped him penetrate the LIMS base. This is clearly a politically tinted problem, ”RIA Novosti quoted Svishchev as saying.
"Many things are still incomprehensible."
Meanwhile, Russia continues to discuss the fate of the national team. At the same time, some experts blame the incident on the top sports leadership and, in particular, the Minister of Sports Pavel Kolobkov. In his defense made two-time Olympic champion Denis Pankratov. In his opinion, the politician took office at a time when the doping scandal was already gaining momentum, and he had to work to resolve the situation.
“If those who want to help would not fit in, Kolobkov would have succeeded. We would now go quietly to the Olympics. He did not make sudden movements, but calmly, observing national interests, fulfilling what the international community requested of us. But at the finish line, as usual, they made a bandwagon. As a result, the whole country hates him now. And for what? ”- said Pankratov.
RUSADA Director General Yuri Ganus has repeatedly stated that the sports authorities in Russia need reform. In his defense, Kolobkov replied that his department did everything possible to avoid isolating Russia from world sports. In his opinion, the stabilization of the situation is hindered by the actions of the agency.
“RUSADA’s move beyond its powers, attempts to influence the elections in the federation, as well as the removal of athletes without legal grounds, are an interference in the affairs of public organizations. This is what, incidentally, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and WADA criticized us, ”TASS quoted Kolobkova.
However, there are those who are in no hurry to draw hasty conclusions about what is happening. This year’s Roland Garros quarterfinal Karen Khachanov chose to wait for the final decision of the Sports Arbitration Court in Lausanne (CAS).
“Many things are still incomprehensible, not yet resolved. It is a pity that this is happening again and again against Russia. We are not given the opportunity to speak, but I hope that later we will discuss this situation, when it will become clearer, when after all appeals we will definitely be banned from playing, ”the journalist Reem Abullail quoted the tennis player as saying.
Since the decision of the WADA Executive Committee was made public, the Russian side has 21 days to file a protest. The Supervisory Board has already recommended that the general meeting of RUSADA members do this, but the final decision will have to be made by Ganus.
At the same time, team leaders are preparing for the worst-case scenario. So, the president of the Russian Biathlon Union (RBU), Vladimir Drachev, explained that the situation with Alexander Loginov, Irina Starykh and Ekaterina Glazyrina, who had served their sentences for using illegal drugs, is the most pressing issue. According to him, at the moment, the International Biathlon Union (IBU) has not received information about additional violations after re-checking the data of the Moscow laboratory.
“If something appears, we will immediately take certain measures to understaff the team in the case of the worst case, although we hope for the best. So far, everything is developing so that Loginov, Starykh and Glazyrina will be able to speak, we are waiting for the first decisions of WADA and RUSADA in courts, ”Drachev explained.
The well-known commentator Dmitry Guberniev also reassured Russian biathlon fans. According to him, the head of IBU Olle Dalin assured him that with a 100 percent probability the national team will compete under its own flag at the upcoming World Championships in Italian Anterselva. As for future prospects, they will become known only after the CAS verdict.