The claims come on the eve of the Rio 2016 opening ceremony.
Former WADA chief investigator Jack Robertson says the watchdog organization’s president, Craig Reedie, repeatedly attempted to derail a probe into widespread performance enhancing drug use and test evasion by Russian athletes, according to a new interview with ProPublica.
Robertson, who left his role in January, says that the investigation into Russian doping was repeatedly delayed so that WADA could claim the conclusions were released too close to the Olympic games. Robertson also claimed WADA made that decision in part due to IOC president Thomas Bach’s close association with Russian officials, including Vladimir Putin.
The IOC had granted the ability to ban Russian athletes to the federations of individual sports, with only the IAAF, which oversees track & field, choosing to do so. Robertson claims this was another example of the Olympic Committee and WADA looking out for Russian interests.
The IOC knows there’s simply not enough time for the federations to make a determination. But also, it’s not their job. This was not the IOC’s buck to pass. This involved government, the Ministry of Sport, the FSB [Russian state security], the lab, RUSADA [the Russian Anti-Doping Agency], coaches, athletes, heads of national federations, and to actually get the evidence to prove that … when I started, I didn’t think there was any chance whatsoever we’d come to prove these things, but by the grace of God everything fell into place. And then it was put in the hands of people with self-interest, who are compromised.
The ex-DEA agent also told Pro Publica that WADA was aware of claims that Russia had installed large-scale mechanisms for positive doping test evasion, but refused to act until the claims were made in the press by former Russian Anti-Doping Agency head Grigory Rodchnkov.
You can read the entire wide-ranging interview at the Pro Publica website.