On the heels of yesterday’s scathing report released by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) alleging testing evasion, sample tampering and customs obstruction, among other acts of deception by Russian athletes, accusations are now emerging specific to the relationship between the Moscow anti-doping laboratory and the All-Russian Swimming Federation (WWF).
According to The Times, Grigory Rodchenkov, former director of the Moscow Laboratory, and Nikita Kamaev, the late former Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) Executive Director, met more than once with WWF officials during the year 2011, leading up to the Summer Olympic Games in London.
During the meetings, both Rodchenkov and Kamaev allegedly asked for annual payments in the sum of RUB ₽3 million (£32,400/$45,000/€40,000) in exchange for the removal of two or three notable swimmers from the anti-doping pool.
WWF reportedly rejected the offer, but the allegations certainly cast an ever-darkening shadow on the integrity of the Moscow laboratory, the site which tested the samples from the 2015 FINA World Championships.
The report also reveals that another two Russian swimmers reportedly failed tests for banned substance erythropoietin, but the cases were never made public. The unnamed swimmers reportedly received 12-month suspensions from WWF, but the punishments were not enforced.
Said FINA of the aforementioned accusations, “These are very serious allegations and we urge anyone with relevant evidence to bring it forward to FINA so that we can share with all appropriate authorities and take immediate disciplinary action if required.”
“FINA is monitoring all developments in the world’s fight against cheating and doping in sport and is taking decisive action to protect the majority of our athletes who are clean.”
WADA responded to The Times, “These allegations are most concerning. We have immediately passed this on to our investigations team, who will examine the information in further detail.”
These swimming-specific allegations are another stain on the Russian sporting world following the reported systematic doping within the nation’s Athletics program. The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) will be making the decision today, June 17th, as to whether or not the ban on Russian athletics will be lifted in time for the nation to participate the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.