Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov took the world by surprise when he went public and revealed Russia’s doping practices in 2016. Dr. Rodchenkov shares his experience in the Russian doping system, what policy changes athletes worldwide still need and what the Rodchenkov Anti-Doping Act means for the world of international sport.
In this episode, we talk about…
- Whether the doping system that Rodchenkov oversaw in Russia is similar to other doping systems in other countries
- The distinction of clean vs. honest athletes
- Rodchenkov’s opinion if top international athletes in Russia have an option not to dope
- How the anti-doping community can pursue institutional doping while not continuing to unjustly punish individual athletes
- The discrepancy of how athletes are punished vs. institutions and organizations
- Why the Rodchenkov Anti-Doping Act will change world sport and the role of the new International Testing Authority (ITA)
- Why athletic success is so important to the Russian state and whether it’s possible for a system to stop a state as strong as Putin's from continuing to corrupt international sport
- Russia’s sanction and how it impacts athletes still competing for Russia
- Why Rodchenkov believes the international sports system may not improve anytime soon
“Again, the problem is that athletes have no tools to defend themselves.”
“I am happy that at least that there are some project like Rodchenkov Anti-doping Act, somehow it might bring light to dark corners, but again, Anti-doping organizations and WADA, honestly they don’t fit the purpose. Should be reconstructed and structurally built. Overhauled.”
“...the problem lies with how these cases are treated. It doesn't lie with the way that we test, or the way that we do investigations. The problem is that we don't punish the organizations and the institutions the same way that we punish athletes.”
Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov was the head of Russia's national anti-doping laboratory and facilitated the doping of hundreds of Russian athletes at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Games. He worked for more than a decade to ensure that doped Russian athletes were not caught by the international anti-doping system. Despite his lab ostensibly being in charge of anti-doping efforts in Russia, in 2016, Dr. Rodchenko fled to the United States and exposed Russian state sponsored doping programs to The New York Times. He was the subject of the academy award winning documentary film “Icarus”. His recent book, titled The Rodchenkov Chenkov Affair: How I Brought Down Russia's Secret Doping Empire, gives a detailed account of both Dr. Rodchenkov’s professional life and doping in Russia.
Links to resources:
PDF version of interview transcript can be found here.
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