Global Athlete
Global Athlete

Episode 8 · 4 months ago

Russian Doping with Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov


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

Memorable Quotes:

“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.”

Guest Bio:

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.  

Proud episode partner InnoVero Global 

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Welcome to the Global Athlete podcast,conversations about power, accountability and Athlete Rights in international sport. I'm Noah hofty. For this episode, we are again proud to be partnered with Inovero,a new athlete friend the sample collection manufacture, who's very reason for being is tosecure athletes trust in Queen Sport and get athletes like me supporting and buyinginto the Anti doping system, because anti doping needs our support for it toprosper. Check them out at Inovero globalcom. That's iann O Varro globalcom. Thisepisode we are talking to Dr Grigory Rodchenkov. As the head of Russia'sNational Anti Doping Laboratory, Dr Roschenkov facilitated the doping of hundreds of Russian athleteto the SOCI two thousand and fourteen Olympic Games. He worked for more thana decade to ensure that doped Russian athletes were not caught by the international antidoping system, despite his lab ostensibly being in charge of anti doping efforts inRussia. In Two thousand and sixteen, Dr Rodchenkov fled the United States andexposed Russia state sponsored doping program to the New York Times. He was thesubject of the Academy Award Winning Documentary Film Chorus. His recent book, titledThe Rodchenkov Affair, how I brought down Russia's secret doping empire, gives adetailed account of both Dr Roschenkov's professional life and of doping in Russia. Itis an important read for anyone interested in the corruption of international sport and ofsports place in geopolitics. After the interview, we shop and I spend the secondhalf the episode breaking down Dr Rodchenkov the answers to some of my questions. It was a huge honor for me to speak with Dr Rodchenkov and Ihope that you enjoy the conversation as much as I did. Dr rodchenkob welcometo the Global Athlete podcast. Thank you. I don't want to spend our timerehashing the system that you oversaw in Russia. I assume that our listenershave seen ICARUS or read New York time stories about the institutional doping that youoversaw specifically around the SOCI Olympics. Instead, I want to focus our time onputting what happened in Russia and in Sochi in context and looking at wherethe international sports community can go from here. So first to contextualize what happened inRussia. People often equate doping fraud across different countries. There is asentiment that every country and every athlete dopes, at least at the highest level.So is that how you see it? Was The doping system that you oversawin Russia similar in scope to other doping in other countries? I'm thinkingspecifically maybe, of the doping out of the Bulko labs in San Francisco andthe one one by the US Postal Service cycling team. Do you view thatis similar to what you did? Absolutely no, if you think bulk orus to US Postal Service. Of course there are some groups of assets orcyclist drivers with a similar interest and with very good incentives of receiving money,but again they have nothing to do with country. This a state country likeamostile soucy, which was absolutely protected by fast, the Kg being former times. Or they don't have their own popping control libertary in their pocket, whenthey can do to check whether it is a unit is clean or whether theyknew how to say support nutrition or something like a keptize from Internet are detectableat all. The only each makes maybe postal service and Bulka little bit,a little bit similar to Russia. And such a project that all such conspiracymust have access to Vada accredited laboratory to check their of course, drugs,their supplements or bills, tablets, whatever, and also to check you in underthe table to know that as it is clean, becomes clean. Butotherwise it's absolutely conspiracy scre fussing to do this. First of all, statesecurity service, like, let's say, if it's B or Ibi, andof course, no access to laboratory, which is absolutely crucial to have conspiracy. This is open for again Russia and search. It's a unique, howto say, situation. It's a disaster for the international sport. Still notvery will understood and the result and it will take years, in the yearsto understand where international sport came and how... get back next Yu. Yeah, that's fascinating that that you have to have anti doping laboratory in order toWat, I credit a laboratory in order to perpetrate such a scheme. Iwant to focus on where athletes fit into this system. In your book youdifferentiate between clean and honest athletes. Can you tell me what you mean bythat distinction? It's very important distinction because I don't like the work clean yousee anty games in patient asthletes whore clean maybe, and positives analytical averse finds, but after the analysis clean athletes to them to be George. This iscrucial difference between honest, which our honest as their life, and clean essence, in a quotation marks, which are clean in during the major events likeworld championships, for a youth games, but in some other time period oftimes they are student protect using to bupping scheme and say who journey? It'sa important difference. Yes, I as an athlete, I can understand thatdifferent. I like the way that you put that. I want to geta sense. You know, I competed in Searchy, I competed in theK when the Russian swept to the end, and I knew a lot of mycompetitors. I knew a lot of some of the Russian athletes as welland I have trouble figuring out how to think about them now and I'm wonderingif you feel like top international athletes in Russia did they have a choice,that they have an option not to dope you mean ration asthlets option not beingonly see origical, only se ridicule. Because if we are talking about esthletsin a sense of an Indians esten squad preparing twenty Pi games for level Estens, elite Zey, almost have no choice for two very important reasons. Fustof alls that have no tests, say, are officers from police, army,ORF's be so say all your rules and say almost help at long teamsto say, Oh, I don't use your chees fucktail or whatever injections onesas I can't. You say are Cleo. I do bet using that clear andsee. Would like to make team participated by leaping games. So probablyme is how I could make a team competing. These dope ton Pake itthrough speech. I know I am better, but he's doping. I am notbetter. I cannot make it team. So I seek a possibility to remainclean. Is Only theoty or you have to be such outstanding a stepof killing the like Jason Owens or Michael Phelps. Right, that makes sense. I want to talk about where the Anti doping system can go from here, because we have, on the one hand, institutional doping that you've talkedabout and revealed, and on the other hand we have individual athletes who aretesting positive for very small amounts, trace amounts of substances. You talk inthe book about every suck and Bucker steel testing positive and souchy and you saythat you felt bad for every yeah, the punishment didn't really fit the crime. So how do we, as an antidoping community, pursue institutional doping whilenot continuing to unjustly punish individual athletes? They Nice, commission you know againcoming back to such a position as it can. Why has she tis really, I assue it about here because we will get some agin. Concentration wasonly one hundred anagram parly, it's not such much to consider that she wasdoped. doped, it was contamination in her supplements and whatever she was using. But we had a drought. We have no positives after one week.So I reported to adults like enty doping rule violation, but it's not mygi it was I see medical condisition who considered this concentrations and I don't thinkrule violation. And now we are coming to very important seeing how to protectathletes from such accidental positive results. You know, the most painful now inthe United States it's a she'll be wholly gone. You know she'll before again. Yes, absolutely. I don't know where it was analyzed, properly analyzed, and clear conclusion or inconclusive for irms as an operation. As an operationmust be prometry. But again we don't have faith. But she can receivefour years disqualification. The same in on...

...the other hand, for such cheaters, which were part of conspiracy and we're using doping over years and years,they re sifuently, two years disc commification. How it could deep and send again. You know that we have previous cases with some middle distance and theUnited States, but they war in a national tasting pool and the tasting houseit. It was you, Sanda, and you said a clear exam.But when we fail what athletics and Integrity Unit, we have problems. Wehave problem with Shell be Whoregan, which is absolutely shocking position, and wehave problems with this guy who was one hundred meters and one hundred meters andlong Jamb, who was now cleared. What does his name? But againhe was judged by esthletics integrity unit and he at least was cleared after eighteenmonths. Again, the problem is that ethnic has know any tools, howto how to defend themselves. You know she'll be Hurrigan. He was inshe wasn't formed after one months and after six weeks, and she could loseany checks or whatever material defense field. I know how complicated case is.NNDER, none is produced a female body when she's pregnant, on when shehas still knows effort. It may be up five to even ten, anygrand for a meal. So laboratory which controlled fuel must secretly but immediately considentiallyreport, report athletics tystem also eighteen itself dated common to take sample from here, let's say five days to see at least kinnakes whether it was accidential.So we don't have any data, and almost many data. Almost finally,finally, what do we have? We have. It's again. Even Vadaproduced international standard of simple results management. And you know what Vada was askingcasts why they reduced two times, Dis communification of Russian Usada, of Russianentire Doping Agency, only for two years and step of four. Meantime,the violations, cheating and line was such incredible and they even fessified my lettersor text which I never wrote, that the punishment should be multiplied by twobut not divided by two get cast answer to bad of again. Now thereis a huge which to ble and said, I'm happy that at least that thereare some projector light, like watching the Fertile Doping Act. Somehow itmight bring light to dark colors. But again, and I do think organizationsand Vada honestly, they don't feel the talk should be reconstructed in Structure Attemptoverfol that there are many Madia things which I can even suggest for myself.Clear. So you're saying that the problem lies with how the these cases aretreated. It's not. It doesn't lie with the way that we test orthe way that we do investigations. The problem is that we don't punish theorganizations and the institution the same way that we punish athletes. Exact Laboratory,laboratory. Remember, laboratory is not entire doping CON conization. And don't fighttopic. They make liberatory offer services and manetical services to report the results.And if liberty report five, nothing from of nonber alone. It comes totasting on the story. There is a management, a sorry taken about theterms to organize healing. To wait probability. To wait is guilty or note,based on a very important too, based on comfortable satisfaction, and theydecide to with ament is guilty or not. But the huge probability is that suchresult management. Our story is asking not only for Broton of proof,it's a level of comfortable satisfaction, but approaching argumentation beyond reasonable doubts. Howast to provide augumentation beyond increasable reasonable doubts, because he's lawyers or supporters. Theycannot make sources, cannot make investigations, interrogations. They are where he usknow? Do you understand? How is more in because they are lookingfor feminal motor tight agmentation, which cannot... provide for civil court like Caus, arbitral support the run, taking consideration only a bust tires and balance ofprobability, promportable satisfaction, but instead, say are asking for arguments and proofsbeyond creasonable doubt. That makes sense. So that brings us straight into theRodchenkov Anti Doping Act, this new federal law that is named after after you, of course. So can you tell us about why the Rachenka Be AntiDoping Act will change world support? This is a I be believe, havingvery, very strong step. Also it shows it shows sense. The hestoryshows it. It's it was necessary to do that. One is not ableto find these a conspiracies as international level. Mother was in figurations say more considering. Do don't think like accidental individual cheating cases, but it's absolutely don'twhen we have conspiracy. But that is not able to search such scenes.And you remember before and of act it was only full police in Spain,doctor fluent as agrestroant poet, that it was police search to difference in theend of the s before one anyway, it was a police search WALCO.It was a police search Russian cheats. You cannot do police search because youare facing state. So only catch, arrest, inter regiate people who areimproved in a conspiracy in Russian territory. But again it takes a lot oftime to have proofs because watching the fact is not working. Respective, wecan take as it's the coaches from searching games and say now you are arrestedand you know possible. We are looking forward and now I do believe,I know that work is taking very seriously by FBI. Looking conspiracy and cheatingand criminalizing of sport to decades. We see the one year rotching of fatis only eight months old. So what do we want to have? Youcant apletry for one year and half extent D does the IA have the newinternational testing authority? You see what is my opinion? Maybe it's not notin regards to it that professor mccluaren, he delivered it to eighty nine positivecases which work hidden most school hims. Liberator Laboratory is an as like onehundred footy positive analytical adverse findings. Then the analysis of sepos from most coolmember toy which were taken by wather in December in January last year, alsobrought like twenty four such a Selvis. Does International Testing Authority resources, experience, will and potential to proceed such Selvis? I seem to know. I don'tsee how to say dramatic outcome. Maybe it's my other expectations from internationaltasting authorities, but again for me it's very suspicious. I don't like thisat all. The international tasting authority signed contract with international reliefting federation with toomuch I ang hessing each other and shaking hands again. Maybe I'm too muchin criticism, but I don't see. I see progress from David Home andestates and Tegrity Union. But I keep a the sign contracts with many iterationswhich, of course don't like doping control and hate such sorting work. Andnow IDA has extremely huge task in upon Sam of course there is cold andunderstand but this is some sort of compidence and it needs it needs time tomake a structing in the city. I wanted to zoom back out and talkabout the big picture a little bit. So you stay in your book thatit's impossible to overstate what the SOCARY Winter Games meant to Russians and the regimeof Ladiger Putin. Can you explain why athletics success is so important to theRussian state? It's obvious that during a pouting resume the regime during key's fourteenof fifteen years say he's no progress at...

...all. Cities, no democracy issuppressed, industry is in crisis. Russia offers only guests and oil. Seeingme on the researchers people left Russia and working in Rold in foreign liberties.What can you can present to walk to show us that he's tenue bring successalmost lasting, but you sort of weapons and sports success, sports successful himbecause he is he has a spot of Orient of mind and he likes many, many international figurations. Feel likes zoo, though, he likes whatever he likes. And he decided to make a namby games to show how many medals, how nice is Russia? But we remember that it was collapsed in butwe were only city gold medals and eleven place in a medal account table.And of course putting did his best to bring support to such games. Ihad unlimited resources to I want, instrumentation, human resources. I was offered.I was asked, tell us now, what do you need? More soI have every second. Again, it cannot be Parali. It's unparallyto any as a country for against say fold things. Protection from let's sayFSB. Second, strong support from government in terms of money. And thenlevel. Laboratory was operated in reverse, more in reverse, more time inhiding positive results. But I will never think it was one of the bestin the world. We work at the level of color leverty. My researcherswere talk of set to. You know, this is very important. We hadeverything, best of the best, and of course it brought its success. You could have sixteen medals, not only such, and I tell youvery interesting things that two years before, not one year of the half differentsucial games, I saw planned fifteen goldments. Of course it was cooking, butagain I was surprised, but it came too. So I want toput together these two topics. So, on the one hand we've established thathow important sport is to Putin on the other hand, you have outlined changesto the Anti doping system that you think would make a difference. Is itpossible, though, for there to be a system that is going to stopa state as strong as prutent from continuing to corrupt international sport at every opportunity? For now, such system does not exist, and say no any toolsto detolin concept of it's a funnygical attack. We are to know the guilty.It's my people nation, our Russian isnes out of pistols of best.So we will see. We will see where's father is able to fight Russiandoping in the one year in the Hulf. You remembers it too. Is itRusa that will be reinstated if Russia? If Russia pro white, I'll sinkingfor people of beans. Russia is mine. Zip. They provided forBey and these for Pi. Is Ill saying the cans. SCOPE is onthat one pope from a distinctive committy. It's absolutely why and it should besafe in progress that leaves produced each day. Back Up. Russia has somewhere inhidden on maybe deleted onezero copies of leams, whereas you know what Imean. Yes, I know you mean each Russian meeting Stoe bese out inDecember, two thousand and twenty two, because I would providing leaves. I'llseeing it means that there are no any to how we change deputroop of boppingscheme in the Russia. We see next degree. It's really serious of Vature. Like dels, it's avally because I'm run. I competed in Peng chainand side that. From an athlete perspective it didn't seem to make a differentthat athletes couldn't have their national anthem on...

...the podium, but and and didn'tmake a difference that they couldn't compete under the name Russia. But for whatI've heard you say today, it sounds like it is a very big dealin Russia that their anti doping laboratory is not accredited. So isn't important thatRussia is sanctioned right now? Even though they're athletes, are stilling competing,or is it not that important because the sanction has been watered down? Look, they are completing resign named Russia, but they are competing on the onlysee Russian and up committee is Abbreviation Sam. They have on the chest the hugecircle and inside circle it's a Russian flag, but these flag make diagonnow like a flame, but it's exactly Russian flag. It's again cheating.It's a been trouble to say sarcastic joke, but I see smaller with such uglythink and again Russia to rate and without anthem and without fled. ButRasha put anymotu the rate without, say, your own doping control lever or means. This is much more important as such simportant seems like on them flagthat makes sense. You have insight that nobody else can provide and it's beenvery important. I think that my final question for you is, do youthink that the international sports system can change the I see a big connection betweenRussian state and sport administrators Russia, and Russia is in a very good positionbecause international sport and international figurations are, I won't say correct. They wouldlike to have success. They would like to have sponsors and they would liketo have good relations with Russian tests. You know that some figurations, likea box set and skeleton, they receive money from gas pro. It's acomplete corruption. How you could be independent? And on top of that, it'svery important said all international sports and figurations are in filtrated since decades withRussian KGB and FBI agent and they are working very well in favor of Russian. So Russian problem, it's a huge and monumental problem over the next decade, ten, fifteen, twenty years. And current situation, when everybody isdoing whatever say want, that without any consolidation, like bad is strongly criticizes. Situation cannot be improved, only loose and because stopping control. Now it'sa loose, loose game for both sides. In filtration of FBI international figurations.They are looking independent, but you know how corrupted was I India,how corrupted, how strongly corrupted, was and is Tamasha Young Sen, theseguy from by US long, and you know why US long is not onlycase. So that are some awesome sports which should be interesting game. Why, as long Ken them such things of hiding who's Youve case in biological postwhy is they are, oh my high is, suspects, as I figurationbeing strong figuration. You know what? With any I don't. I don'tlike any more court. But you know bias loan fullard. So as ayou think didn't? That was exactly my question. So thank you very much. will end it there. Dr Rodchenkov, thank you for being on the GlobalAthlete podcast. Okay, see you next time. See your next time. Thank you. Thanks to Dr Roschenkov and his team for facilitating that conversation. It took a lot of logistical coordination. Dr Roschenkov's answers were dense and detailedand we want to spend the rest of this episode breaking down some ofhis answers. To do so I'm joined by Global Athlete Program Manager Briche off. But first this episode of the Global Athlete Podcast we are partnered with thesample collection kit manufacturer in Overo, which was born out of necessity, bornout of the raw deal athletes had with the kit us to the SOCI twothousand and fourteen games. What's great about in Overo is they involve athletes,getting their input and put forward cutting edge, innovative equipment that meets the needs ofthose who depend on it, most US athletes. Check them out atInovera Bobilecom Brie, welcome back to the Global Athlete podcast. Thanks. No, this has been a really, really interesting episode to work on. Yeah, and we've both spent a lot of time on it and gone over thisinterview several times, which is why we...

...feel like, well, it wouldbe helpful to kind of break it down here for listeners, because listening toit once, at least for me, what I was in do it live, was not enough to get the full grasp of what he was saying.Yeah, it's just it's increasingly revealing every time you listen and especially as Idid the transcription, that was blown away at what I had missed while listening, and that transcription that bree has worked tirelessly on is in the show notes. There's a link to it in the show notes. You can go thereto get the text version of everything Dr Rotchenkov said, which was very helpfulfor me and I hope it will be for our listeners as well. Butwe want to break down a few of those points and kind of maybe givesome of our thoughts about them. And the first one that really struck meabout what he was saying was how necessary it is to have a dope andcontrol laboratory in order to facilitate the type of institutional doping that that occurred inRussia, and this is something that I hadn't thought about. I kind ofwas under the impression that any country with the corrupt intent like Russia could pulloff a scheme, and maybe it takes a certain level of expertise to doit as successfully as they did, and certainly of a certain amount of resources, but that it was, you know, just the nature of hosting the Olympicsin your home turf and a of each country being in charge of theirown National Anti doping systems that allowed them to corrupt the system. But hereally felt like the access to the water accredited laboratory was what set Russia apartand it's what made this so unique, the type of corruption that happened thathe oversaw and Russia. Yeah, no, like you pointed out, you know, with the belt post scandal, in the US Postal Service, cyclingscandal, you know, they those athletes were still tested separately and had tomake sure that they gave clean test. We even though there was a systemicoperation going on, they did not have the ability to change results and sothey would have had to act to have access to any one of the labsin the US. And so it is pretty remarkable when you think about thelevel of just the depth that it took and across the different departments in Russiato make that work, and so different than anything we've ever seen. Andwe didn't talk about it today with Dr Rodchenkov on this episode, but wehe talked extensively in the book about what they called predeparture testing, which wasthat if they were setting their athletes to an international competition, they would testthem not to see if they could catch them using performance dancing substances, butto make sure that the performance dancing substances that they knew they were using werenot detectable by a water accredit hit laboratory, so that the labs that we're goingto be testing their athlete samples when their athletes traveled abroad were not subsequently, you know, going to be dirty, as Dr Rodchenkov says, which iswhich is different, you know, from honest. I guess it wouldbe dishonest, dirty and dishonest and clean versus honest which is the next pointfrom Dr Hutchenkov. That that I thought was really interesting. It's something thathe talked about in the book and I really wanted to ask him about today, and that is that I really like the distinction that he uses, thatthat a sample and an athlete can be made to be clean. That doesnot make them honest, and there is a real difference between how we shouldtalk about clean versus honest athletes, because clean means that the sample on thisgiven day and with whatever manipulation might have happened, was clean, but honestmeans that the athlete has actually abided by the rules right. That would beselectively clean or, you know, selectively honest and righteous about these things,which is a really interesting point. Was Assaying to think about, you know, in terms of the between time that you just don't know what is happening, so that you know we I also asked him about whether Russian athletes havethe choice not to dope, and I took his answer to be as muchas saying no. Is He possibly could? He said it's only a theoretical optionnot to dope. He said talked about how many athletes are members ofthe police force and they're trained, you know, not to be the typeof athlete that I or you were trained to be, but they're trained tofollow orders and they don't feel like they have kind of individual autonomy and individualdecisions over their careers. They're just part of this system. And so ifyou operate in that landscape, then then you know you don't have the kindof free will necessary to not dope. And also, Dr Roschenkov talked aboutyou know, how could an athlete who was competing clean qualify for these nationalteams when all of their competitors are doping? And where does that you know,how would you possibly unless you know, he said, unless you're an athletelike you know he the examples he used were Michael Phelps. I can'tremember the other athlete he used, but no one. Yeah, Jesse O, enter Michael Phelps. Unless you're an athlete of unbelievable, once in ageneration, natural talent, you can't possibly...

...make the national team in Russia withoutdoping. So during the conversation with Dr Rotchenkov, I brought up, youknow this, the bay athlete, every suckenbacker steel, who I wanted toask Dr Rotchenkov about because to me, evy is emblematic of this larger issuethat we're seeing in sport in anti doping right now, where athletes testing isgetting so good that athletes are testing positive for tainted supplements and even food productsthat somehow have prohibited substances in them at very low thresholds, and it's becomingit's resulting in an antidoping will violation, it's resulting in athletes being suspended fromsport, it's really devastating athletes careers, and so we have this dichotomy whereyou've got really, really sensitive tests that are picking up innocent athletes, orat least athletes who are not intentionally cheating, and then, on the other hand, you can't stem the tide of institutional doping. So, more specifically, Dr Rotchenkov talks in his book about about this story of of evy's positivetest in Sochi. He detected the substance methyl hexamine in her sample and castlater ruled that the substance likely came from a ketaminated supplement and cast reduced hersanction. But the results of Sochi were still nullified and every still had allof the consequences of testing positive for a prohibited substance, including reputational damage,including financial damage or financial punishment in terms of losing sponsor dollars. and DrRotchenkov says in his book he says, I quote, I felt bad forevery the punishment didn't really fit the crime. And this is kind of as myas as an athlete. This was my worst nightmare was accidentally testing positivebecause of something totally out of your control and it's, you know what,how Shelby Hulohan claims to have tested positive and other we've seen so many caseswhere athletes, you know, seem to be credibly discussing how they've just gottencaught up in this system. So I don't know how you felt, breebut I thought Dr Rodchenkov today addressed it partly in that he decried the factthat shelby Hulahin, for instance, had been sanctioned for four years, whileSoachy cheaters who doped, you know, quote, for years and years,according to Doctor Rotchenkov, only received two years. He said that athletes haveno tools to defend themselves. I think that's a really key point, isyou think about the different levels of resources that athletes have to fight the system. But he didn't really address what I think it also needs to be partof the solution, which is to really restructure the system so that we guaranteethat we're not, you know, wrapping up clean athletes in our search fordirty athletes, and he said that's especially in our fight against institutionalized doping.Yeah, it was really interesting how he pointed out that the only reason atthe time that he reported it to Wada because he had. He knew,based on the level of the substance in her sample, that it was incidental, but he had but he felt that he had to report it because upuntil that point, he said, there had been a drop and it wasgoing to look really suspicious to have an entirely clean games, and so heended up reporting evy, and I think this is largely the reason that bothathletes and metals alike had been pushing for threshold reform and to clarify that's theminimum level of a substance found an athlete system deemed to indicate doping. Wekind of went from there in our conversation to continue to talk about how thescience interacts with the politics, and one point Dr Rotchenkov made that I hadnot fully grasped was that the laboratory that he oversaw in Russia. The laboratoryis not part of the Political Anti doping system. The laboratories jobs is simplyto analyze the samples that are received and the results. Management and how theexamples are collected is all part of the political element of antidoping. And soyou know, as you talk about threshold reform, that that would be apolitical decision. It's not that we're not say that the laboratories are going tolike go back to using ten year old tools and stop, you know,using the top of the line equipment. It's just that the you know,the what we do with those results from the laboratories are are going to dependon how we make our political decisions, and that was something that Dr RotchenkovHammere at home. He said, you know, laboratory is not anti dopingorganization and they don't fight doping. Yeah, and to reiterate again that, ashe pointed out in that same section, athletes in their lawyers do not haveinvestigat hit authority to gather any defensive evidence in a case and often timesthey're notified a month later. So you have to go back and try andso hopefully you still have that supplement or,... the case of Shelby Houlehand,she had to go and find the restaurant that she ate her meal thatday to try and prove her innocence, which is a huge burden and thechances of that are miniscule's very rare that we see an athlete able to provethat. Yeah, to between specifically, Dr Roschenkov said that athletes must provebeyond a reasonable doubt that they are innocent and that that's just impossible under mostcircumstances. So our conversation more from there into the Rodchenkov Anti Doping Act andkind of what that will mean at now that it is law in the USfor World Sport, and Dr Roschenkov really focused on the fact that all ofthe biggest doping scandals in history, the Balko scandal, Operation Puerto, wereexposed by police. But the police in Russia are the ones that are facilitatingdoping. So clearly we can't have national police worldwide be the ones to enforceonly their own doping and that was his I think this he was addressing herethe extra territorial jurisdiction of the Rodchenkov Act, which the global community has decried asa power grab and an overreach and ruining the national homogenation, homogenization ofdoping rules. But what Dr Roschenkov was saying is that it is necessary fora law enforcement agency as powerful as the US federal government to enforce the rulesin places like Russia where the state police are involved in the corruption that we'retrying to rule route out right, despite it, you know, being calledan overreach, just the fact is that you don't have high enough international oversightof this stuff and so, you know, the best we can come up withis the Rotchenkov Act, which at least gives the power of the investigatorypower to an organization with a much better budget to pursue this stuff, likethe FBI. Yeah, and Dr Rouchenkov didn't say this explicitly, but hemakes the point in the book that an organization like Wada is just no match. This is kind of the deep, honestly, the you know, thecenterpiece of the entire book is that an organization like water, water just doesn'thave the institutional power to be able to actually influence your hold accountable and entityas big and powerful and full of corrupt intent as the Russian state. Rightin the same way that the US Anti Doping Agency doesn't have the power thatthe FBI has, which is why they're very excited to to now have thaton board in investigating doping. And he did make the point that, youknow, that laws are not retroactive and the Rachenkov Act cannot be used toprosecute the wrongdoings from Sochi and instead it's there to be a deterrent and toprovide consequences the next time that this occurs, and so I think that he wasbasically preaching a little bit of patients from us and the athlete community,which is is good advice, even if, you know, some of us areimpatient for real change to come. I asked also from there about theinternational testing agency, and he seemed a little bit taken aback by this question, and what I was trying to get at was whether some of the changesthat we've seen and in the structure of international anti doping are going to bea positive thing and make a difference. And so the International Testing Authority ManagesAnti doping programs for international federations and major event organizers. So this takes awaya little bit of what I see as the conflicted interests of these international federations, whose job it is to promote and put on big sporting events and whosereputation is damaged when there's doping within their sport, and so therefore they're incentivizednot to catch very many dopers and they're incentivized to, you know, pushunder the rug positive doping results from some of their biggest stars. So theITA is supposed to put a barrier, an institutional divide between the testing authoritiesfor these international federations and the international federations themselves, and Dr Roschenkov was generallypositive on the ITTA. He said it's good to take result to management,away from the government government organizations. He talked about the history that the internationalfederations have of covering up positive doping results. It just looks for pointing specifically atweightlifting and biathlon. So I was actually encouraged by his response to theITA Question Right. Really interesting to take a look at our institutions with fresheyes and realize all the spaces that you need to divide the powers. Fromthere we moved on to kind of broader...

...questions about like where do where doesRussian sport go from here, and where do we as international community go andour relation to Russian sport. and He, Dr Rotchenkov, was very clear.He said if Russia will be reinstated in December of two thousand and twentytwo, when their current station sanction is due to expire, without providing anauthentic copy of the limbs Dadd at a water which is a condition of theirreinstatement, Dr Rotchenkov says that if that happens, which none of us willbe surprised to see, unfortunately it means that there has been no effort,no real effort, to change the deeply rooted doping scheme in Russia. Becauseif you don't hold them accountable in make them actually acknowledge what they have doneand provide access to the investigators to finally get clear answers about what you know, what exactly was happening in the laboratory in Sochi, if you don't havethat, then how can you possibly expect that they'll do anything different in thefuture? and Dr Rodchenkov was very clear about that. Yeah, and separatefrom, you know, the crime and the punishment there is athletes were constantlywondering, you know, what can we do? You know, and anticipationof another, you know, unpleasant event there. What can athletes do totry and mark change or create change? And Really, I guess the bestyou can hope for is that Russia continues not to be allowed to test resultsor samples in their own labs. Yeah, and this was something that Dr Roschenkovsaid that that was surprising to me and something that I had not considered. So I was under the impression that the current sanction on Russia was completelyis completely meaningless, because I was there in pyeong chain when Russia had asimilar, you know, sanction, which is just a sanction in name only, where they're still allowed to compete. They still are wearing uniforms that saythe word Russia on them, they're still looking like they're rushing colors. Imean they're playing, you know, the song that is emblematic of their country, even if it on the podium, but if it's not the Russian nationalanthem, they've got the Russian Olympic Committee emblem, which has the Russian flagembedded in it, on their uniform. And what kind of a stinction isthis? But what Dr Rotschenkov was saying, said today in this interview, isthat actually this sanction means something, and the reason it is because theydon't have access to a water credited laboratory while the sanctions in place, andthat is a big deal. Acquitted Dr Ronchenkov, and it's not something thatI had thought about, that not having access to the water credited laboratory meansthey cannot manipulate their own samples. All of the samples collected Russia right noware being sent out of the country and analyzed elsewhere, and that is puttinga huge wrench in their ability to actually conduct this institutional doping scheme that they'vebeen conducting and attempting to conduct for the last ten, fifteen years. Andso I hadn't understood the significance of the current sanction. I had thought itwas literally just lip service and accorded Dr Rotchenkov. There is actually a meaningfulelement of it, even if the show about them not being Russia at theOlympics is complete, you know, facade right, and while athletes may stillbe doping, it is far riskier now because of surprise test. You know, we all know we expect test at major events, at international competitions,but it is the surprised test, the out of competition testing that is goingto be a much bigger worry for Russian athletes and for Russia. And speakingof so we finished up our conversation with Dr Ronschenkov with him talking about whathe coined the Russia problem and what he said. I'm just going to reiteratehis words here. He said all international sporting federations are infiltrated for decades withthe Russian KGB agents and they are working very well in favor of Russia.So Russian problem, it's a huge and monument monumental problem over the next decade, ten, fifteen, twenty years. That's the end of his quote.Now I'm going to editorialize here. He is saying that the administration of WorldSport, of the Olympic Movement, is so closely tied the corruption in Russiathat it is there's no clear path forward for how we have corruption free sportbecause as long as the regime in Russia, the Putin regime in Russia, iscontinued to be hell, been on bending and breaking the international order,in the international rules at every opportunity to undermining rule the rule of law anddemocratic values and and things like international cooperation...

...and other countries elections as long ashe has been on undermining the world order. Sport is a great avenue for himto do it and he has almost complete ability to influence these organizations atevery stage. and honestly, this was the most discouraging part of this interviewfor me. Now was wild to hear him name specific sports federations, especiallythey hear the sports that I come from, Bob Sudden Skeleton named, and pointingout the when you've got major Russian companies as sponsors. That is alla part of the system and the plan. On that very gloomy note, Iguess we'll leave it there. Do you have anything uplifting breath that wecan end on? Really, what's uplifting is just listening to Dr Rod Chenkov. He presents these all of these fascinating backstories behind the current situation the problems, in such a lyrical, musical, insightful, energetic way. It wastruly a pleasure to listen to this interview. is so fascinating and really really gladthat he is around as a resource and can help the world better understandinstitutionalized doping and all the problems that were facing, but hopefully help with asolution as we move towards the future and, you know, and optimistically looking forwardto the Rod Chenkov act coming into play here. It was a realhonor for me to talk to him and I couldn't degree more about what he'sdone for international sport and for athletes and his bravery. I mean he hasleft his wife and his kids behind and he is now fearing for his lifeand he's he's done that kind of for this broader sense of justice and thein hope that things will get better and that and that light is going todisinfect the international sport community. I hope that his sacrifice will result in realinstitutional change. So we will leave it there. That is a little bitmore uplifting. Thank you, bree again. Our full transcript of our conversation withDr Rodchenkov is in the show notes. Our partner for this episode is inOvero. In overa realizes that when it comes to doping control, thebuck stops with athletes, because without their trust and the equipment used to takedoping samples, clean sport is nothing. That's why in Overa was involving athletesin all steps of development for its groundbreaking kit. Check them out at InoveraGlobalcom that's I, N O v Arro Globalcom huge thank you to our guestDr Radchenkov today. His book is titled The Raschenkov Affair. How I broughtdown Russia's secret doping empire. Thank you also to his team who helped USfacilitate this interview. It was not an easy logistical task. As always,please get in touch with any questions or comments. Also, please leave usa rating and review. Wherever you listen, you can reach us that hello atGlobal Athlete Dot Org or at Global Athlete HQ on twitter and Instagram.Our team includes Breeshaw, rob keiler and Julia Barton. I'm Noah Hoffman.See you all next time.

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