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Olympic Doping Diaries: Chemist’s Notes Bolster Case Against Russia

Olympic officers will announce their determination on Dec. five. If they don’t bar Russia utterly from the approaching Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, they’re prone to stay all Russian trademarks out of the Games: The Russian flag would now not fly on the opening and shutting rite, Russian athletes would compete in impartial uniforms and the Russian anthem would now not be performed. Such restrictions, Russian officers have stated, can be tantamount to an outright ban, and Russia would imagine boycotting the 2018 Olympics.


“6:20 a.m. Nagornykh woke me up — we have to see Mutko today. I swam in the pool — the water is ice-cold…I had breakfast, came to work early — got all the materials ready for Mutko,” Rodchenkov wrote on Feb. three.

Later that day, he wrote, he met with the sports activities minister, Vitaly Mutko, and his deputy in Mutko’s place of job in Sochi. “We went over the entire problems. He desires to keep Sochi as a backup facility.
That’s information to me,” Rodchenkov wrote, occurring to element conversations he had with global chemists, and the bottle of Glenmorangie whiskey one British chemist, David Cowan, gave him.

Hilary Swift for The New York Times

“The Disciplinary Commission does not consider it at all likely that these pages were newly re-written or that, at the time, Dr. Rodchenkov misrepresented the reality in his own way,” an I.O.C. file printed on Monday stated. “These entries may therefore be considered as a significant evidential element.”

Together with Rodchenkov’s sworn statements, the diaries element explicit discussions about dishonest he had with distinguished officers together with Vitaly Mutko, Russia’s sports activities minister on the time who’s now the country’s deputy high minister; Yuri Nagornykh, Mutko’s former deputy sports activities minister, who additionally belonged to Russia’s Olympic Committee; and Irina Rodionova, the previous deputy director of the middle of sports activities preparation of nationwide groups of Russia.

Alongside the ones consequential conversations, Rodchenkov recorded the mundane main points of his lifestyles — easy errands like purchasing a Bounty chocolate bar at Sochi’s central marketplace together with chilly medication for Thierry Boghosian, the global lab inspector who by no means detected Russia’s brazen breaches of drug-testing all over the 3 weeks of the Games.

On Jan. 13, 2014, Rodchenkov wrote that Rodionova’s assistant, Aleksey Kiushkin, had introduced him a drug cocktail recognized a number of the officers as Duchess, a mix of 3 anabolic steroids and Martini-brand vermouth. Rodchenkov had formulated the drink for best athletes to take all the way through the Olympics, and Rodionova ready and dispensed it to coaches and athletes.

“Kiushkin came with tons of news. He also brought a freshly-made Martini. I took it right away,” wrote Rodchenkov, who continuously examined medicine on himself and documented their results.

For the next week, because the Sochi Games approached, along admirations of his new Samsung smartphone and criticisms of Olympic cafeteria meals, Rodchenkov recorded his frustration that officers had now not obviously defined their plans to move from Moscow the masses of oz of fresh urine that high athletes had for months accrued in child meals jars and previous soda bottles — urine that was once the linchpin to what he again and again known as “the Sochi plan.”

“There’s no clear understanding of the plan, it’s just a nightmare!” he wrote on Jan. 29, at some point after two best Russian biathlon athletes were stuck doping in Austria. “Mutko is freaking out over biathlon, things are out of control and chaotic.”

On Feb. 1, he adopted directions that Nagornykh, the deputy minister, had given him on the Azimut lodge the evening prior to. Rodchenkov inspected the construction adjoining to his lab, managed through the Federal Security Service, he stated. The stockpiled urine had arrived in Sochi and was once surreptitiously saved there, he wrote, however he was once maddened that the samples weren’t looked after through game or alphabetized through each and every corresponding athlete’s identify.

“Nothing is ready there,” he wrote. “I completed a full inventory.”

On Feb. three, 4 days prior to the Sochi Games started, Rodchenkov’s arrangements culminated along with his presentation to Mutko, the sports activities minister. In a gathering at Mutko’s place of job on the native organizing committee’s headquarters, Rodchenkov wrote that day, he had passed Mutko a duplicate of the “Duchess list,” naming the handfuls of Russian Olympians who had been consuming the drug cocktail and would have their incriminating urine swapped out with their prestocked blank urine.

At that assembly, in step with the diary access, the minister advised preserving the Olympic laboratory open after the Games, as a spot to experiment with new frontiers of doping.

“We went over all the issues,” Rodchenkov wrote on Feb. three, noting he were up since 6:20 a.m. getting ready. “He wants to preserve Sochi as a backup facility.”


Russian Doctor Explains How He Helped Beat Doping Tests at the Sochi Olympics

A step-by-step look at how Russian agents used an elaborate scheme to swap out tainted urine samples for clean ones taken months earlier.

Olympic Doping Diaries: Chemist’s Notes Bolster Case Against Russia

OPEN Graphic

Five days later, on the Azimut Hotel in Sochi, the minister adopted up, inquiring for Rodchenkov installed writing a request to stay the lab open, which Rodchenkov did that night as he drank tea, he wrote on Feb. eight.

Following more than one investigative stories printed closing yr, Russia’s coordinated dishonest has been permitted as reality amongst best Olympic officers, despite a in large part defiant reaction from Russian government that has grown fiercer in contemporary weeks. This fall, Russia criminally charged Rodchenkov with abuse of authority and indicated it might request his extradition. Authorities had prior to now seized his belongings in Moscow, the place his circle of relatives stays.

Russian officers have advised Rodchenkov acted on my own in tampering with greater than 100 incriminating urine samples in Sochi, an act which has thus far led the worldwide officers to reserve Russia to go back 11 Olympic medals. “One can hardly steal a victory that has already been won,” a Kremlin spokesman stated Monday about those disqualifications.

President Vladimir V. Putin has forcefully disputed the state’s involvement, a query that may be the variation between a complete ban of the country’s athletes and a lesser punishment, similar to barring the Russian anthem from taking part in on the 2018 Games.

But penalties are anticipated to increase past the Winter Games, because the well-liked dishonest that investigators confirmed stretched throughout seasons, sports activities and years — as Rodchenkov additionally carefully detailed discussing with Russia’s maximum tough sports activities officers in his journals.

Rodchenkov was once looking at tv on Jan. eight, 2014, when the deputy minister referred to as to reprimand him after a celeb racewalker, Elena Lashmanova, were stuck doping. “Nagornykh called — he’s calling everyone on the carpet,” Rodchenkov wrote. “I came to the ministry, waited for Nagornykh, had a 2-hr discussion about details of the Sochi prep.”

Months later, on March 14, 2014, Rodchenkov wrote that he had sat in his automotive, charging his telephone, whilst speaking to Mutko, who had referred to as to “let me have it” for now not successfully masking up Lashmanova’s drug use.

On April 21, 2014, Rodchenkov debated with Nagornykh whether or not to falsify the superstar athlete’s document, one thing the deputy minister was once advocating however Rodchenkov feared would draw the eye of world regulators and jeopardize his lab’s accreditation, he stated.

“He got an excellent tan in Mexico,” Rodchenkov wrote after assembly with Nagornykh on the sports activities ministry that day. “I spent 1.5 hours there fighting. Nagornykh slowly backed off. We agreed to go see Mutko by 1:00.”

In July 2014, Lashmanova was once suspended.

Last yr, after an initial investigation commissioned through the global regulator of gear in sports activities had showed Rodchenkov’s account, the Russian govt brushed aside Nagornykh, Zhelanova and Rodionova. Putin increased Mutko to deputy premier in October 2016.

In an interview with The Times closing yr, Mutko distanced himself from Rodchenkov, pronouncing his deputy, Nagornykh, had controlled arrangements for Sochi.


“6:30, I took a shower, had a smoke, got ready, had hot cereal and farmer’s cheese at breakfast,” Rodchenkov wrote on Feb. 17. That day he offered to the International Olympic Committee’s scientific fee, and then he briefed the sports activities minister and deputy minister.

“Nagornykh and Mutko were waiting for me,” he wrote, noting that they had lunch in combination. “I was given a second lunch within three hours! Seabass filet and mutton bean soup. I finished Mutko’s grapes, walked on foot to security checkpoint #16.”

That day, Russia’s girls’s hockey workforce was once eradicated. “I worked my night shift,” Rodchenkov wrote, relating to the in a single day urine swapping. “I even felt energized for some reason. Came back at 5 a.m. and slept till 8 a.m.”

Hilary Swift for The New York Times

But all over the Games, Rodchenkov documented more than one foods with Mutko and acted with familiarity, in step with his day by day notes. “I ate Mutko’s grapes,” he wrote on Feb. 17 a couple of lunch at which he already eaten sea bass filet and mutton soup. “Everyone is exhausted.”

Rodchenkov and his attorney say the contemporaneous notes shed light on he was once a foot soldier in a device that was once managed on the best ranges of the state. Documents printed Monday through the International Olympic Committee point out they, too, settle for his account.

“Dr. Rodchenkov was telling the truth when he provided explanations of the cover-up scheme he managed,” Olympic officers wrote within the first disciplinary determination associated with the Russian doping scandal, justifying a life-time ban for the 19th Russian athlete thus far disciplined for the Sochi schemes.

While it’s unclear if all of the Russian nationwide workforce will probably be penalized for the dishonest, Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee, advised this month that the approaching sanctions will probably be extra critical than the ones levied forward of the 2016 Summer Games in Rio, from which greater than 100 athletes had been barred.

“It is about the manipulation of the antidoping system of the Olympic Games,” Bach stated in an interview with The New York Times. “These are our tests, and this is the lab of the Olympic Games, and therefore our position now is very much different” than it was once forward of Rio.

“It’s not our job to make everybody happy,” Bach stated. “It’s our job to sanction this in a proportionate and appropriate way.”

Rodchenkov resides in an undisclosed location within the United States underneath coverage from American government. His attorney stated Rodchenkov were totally cooperative with U.S. and global companies relating to Russia’s doping program.

“If the I.O.C. fails to act to severely punish this frontal assault on the integrity of the Olympics, it will forever lose the moral authority to punish any cheaters,” stated the attorney, Jim Walden, of the company Walden, Macht and Haran.

Rodchenkov instructed The Times closing yr that he had recorded the main points of his paintings in Moscow moderately mindfully, and now not on a pc — as his pal Nikita Kamayev, Russia’s former antidoping leader who died in 2016, had finished. It was once Kamayev who gave Rodchenkov the black and gold Waterman pen he used for his diaries.

Rodchenkov attributed Kamayev’s sudden death to his announcement that he was once writing a ebook, from which Rodchenkov stated he attempted to dissuade him.

“I told him, I’m not writing with a computer,” Rodchenkov stated in May 2016. “I’m writing with your pen.”

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