The honorary president of Russia’s Olympic Committee believes the man responsible for exposing the country’s state-sponsored doping program should be executed.
Grigory Rodchenkov, the former director of Moscow’s anti-doping lab, exposed the scheme in 2016 after fleeing to the United States.
“Rodchenkov should be shot for lying, like Stalin would have done,” Olympic official Leonid Tyagachev said on a Russian radio station, according to the Guardian.
Tyagachev’s remark may sound like hyperbole but Russia has a long history of killing political opponents—two former doping officials died under mysterious circumstances last year—and Rodchenkov fled to the U.S. over fears for his safety.
Rodchenkov decision to go public with the government endorsed doping program has made him a pariah in Russia. A court ruled in September that if he were to ever return to the country he should be arrested. (Rodchenkov should be safe from arrest while he is in the U.S. because the Americans don’t have an extradition agreement with Russia.)
Russian athletes were banned en masse from the 2016 Olympics in Rio as a result of the scandal and a similar ban could be in effect in Pyeongchang this winter.