The former director of Russian national anti-doping laboratory Grigory Rodchenkov and WADA’s main witness has withdrawn his testimony against Russian athletes during the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) hearings.
According to the document published by CAS on April 23, Rodchenkov had stated that he had never distributed the so-called Duchess Cocktail, seen an athlete take the mixture or instruction being given to either them or to coaches to use the substance. Furthermore, he claimed that he had never seen an athlete give a clear urine sample or “tamper with a doping sample.”
According to Rodchenkov, the Duchess Cocktail is a mixture of alcohol with doping and allegedly given to the Russian athletes during the Winter Olympic Games in 2014. Rodchenkov became WADA’s main witness in 2016, in the case against the Russian national Olympic team over doping allegations.
He told the New York Times that he had contributed to the cover-up of Russian doping program during the Winter Olympics by switching urine samples for clean ones. As a result of doping claims, 43 Russian athletes were banned for life.
Richard Henry McLaren, a Canadian lawyer, also contested his previous statements over the Russian sportsmen using doping. In 2015, McLaren presented an independent panel commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency to investigate allegations of alleged state-sponsored doping in Russian sports.
“In my report I didn’t assume that certain Russians had been participating in the doping-chart. I only said that they “could participate”. It doesn’t mean, that they have violated the anti-doping rules,” McLaren stated.
Presidential Press Secretary Dmitri Peskov commented the Rodchenkov’s testimony, stressing that it could contribute to further reasonable moves in the international community:
“We hope that this situation will force the various organizations once again to take a very serious look at the precursor of any decisions they took regarding our athletes.”