Much of the investigation into sample tampering has hinged on testimony from Grigory Rodchenkov, former director of the Moscow lab.
MOSCOW (AP) - Russian President Vladimir Putin accused US agencies of manipulating evidence from the main whistleblower on doping at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. He fled to the United States in 2016 saying he feared for his life after the sudden death of two senior officials in the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA). "What substances are they giving him to say everything they need him to say", Putin added.
In Moscow at his annual news conference, which ran for several hours and covered a wide range of topics, Putin said (via the AP) that Rodchenkov's presence in the U.S. "This was definitely a mistake of those who appointed him", Putin said Thursday (via Tass). It means he's under the control of American special services.
As a result, Russian Federation was last week barred from the Winter Games in Pyeongchang in February for institutionalised doping, though athletes who are deemed "clean" can compete under the Olympic flag.
Putin accused Rodchenkov of having psychological problems and having been involved in doping.
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Rodchenkov went on to detail a doping operation that employed the services of Russian agents and boosted the results of dozens of the country's athletes in a variety of sports.
The Russian government has denied it had any involvement in doping, particularly around the Sochi Olympics, which is seen as a key prestige project.
"International Federations can consider Wada as their collaborative partner in pursuing their investigations", said Gunter Younger, Wada's chief intelligence officer.
"It's obvious that the scandal is being blown up in the run-up to Russia's domestic political calendar", said Putin, who has announced his intention to seek a fourth term in March". "Whatever people say, I'm convinced, I just know this is the case".
"The IOC may partially or fully lift the suspension of the ROC from the commencement of the Closing Ceremony of the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018", the IOC wrote in levying its punishment, "provided these decisions are fully respected and implemented by the ROC and by the invited athletes and officials".
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