Russia’s top athletes are under investigation by the United States Justice Department for doping, according to an article on Tuesday, May 17, 2016, in the “The New York Times.” The Eastern District of New York’s U.S. Attorney’s Office is taking a close look at every person associated with the accusations of doping, including Russian government officials, athletes, coaches, anti-doping authorities and any other person who may have prospered as a result of utilizing banned performance-enhancing drugs.
The investigation follows reports issued by the World Anti-Doping Agency in November 2015. The reports accused Russia of participating in a government-supported doping program for its elite athletes. Grigory Rodchenkov, the director of the Russian anti-doping laboratory, told “The New York Times” that under the direction of the Russian government, he assisted athletes in utilizing banned drugs in global competitions. Rodchenkov is now one of the people under investigation by the U.S. Justice Department.
Russian officials have responded to the inquiry with contempt. The claims are being dismissed as a conspiracy and an attempt to discredit Russian athletes by the West. The Russian Sports Ministry recognized the doping issues in a statement issued after Rodchenkov’s accusations were made public.
This investigation is not the first review of possibly corrupt practices in international sports by the New York U.S. Attorney’s Office. The same prosecutors investigated FIFA for several years before announcing their case in May 2015, which led to several soccer officials pleading guilty to fraud. The case against Russia is just beginning. Rodchenkov was asked to resign from his post and fled to the United States fearing for his safety. He is now being represented by a New York law firm but is residing in Los Angeles with no plans to return to Russia.
By Gichele Cocrelle
Edited by Cathy Milne
The New York Times: Justice Department Opens investigation into Russian doping scandal
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