Whistleblower Rodchenkov wants 'blanket ban' on Russians at Olympics
Grigory Rodchenkov, a key whistleblower in the Russian doping scandal, has claimed that no athletes from his country should be allowed to take part in the postponed Tokyo Olympic Games because officials implicated in previous cover-ups are still involved in sport.
Russia is presently challenging a ban from the Olympics and other international sports events imposed by the World Anti-Doping Agency, but, even if the sanction is confirmed, its athletes could still take part as neutral athletes.
In an online interview with BBC Sport, Rodchenkov said: “It should be an absolute blanket ban without any excuses or admissions of athletes. The same personnel who were smuggling and swapping samples during Sochi [the 2014 Winter Olympics], they were falsifying all documentation.
"It was a progression in falsifying, day by day, of this data - an incredible fraud of unspeakable proportion. It shows the country learns absolutely nothing."
Rodchenkov, who now lives in USA, was previously the head of Moscow’s anti-doping laboratory and has alleged large-scale doping and cover-ups of positive tests at events including Sochi 2014.
He has now written an autobiography detailing the deception at the Winter Olympics where he says positive samples were swapped for clean ones through a hole in his laboratory wall, and in Russian sport over many decades.
Russia is facing a ban from events including the Tokyo Olympics, which have been delayed by a year to 2021, and the 2022 Fifa World Cup in Qatar after the Russian Anti-Doping Agency was declared non-compliant for manipulating data that was provided to WADA in 2019.
The handover of the data was a condition of WADA’s controversial decision to lift a three-year suspension of RUSADA in September 2018.
RUSADA’s appeal will be heard by the Court of Arbitration for Sport in November.
At recent Olympics and other major international sports events, Russian athletes able to prove they are clean of doping and approved by international federations have been permitted to compete as neutrals, and a similar situation is anticipated for the postponed Tokyo games.
However, in light of continuing revelations, there have been calls from many countries and leading athletes for all Russians to be excluded.