Winter Olympics 2018: Grigory Rodchenkov to testify as 39 Russian athletes fight for right to compete

The whistleblower at the heart of the Russian doping scandal will testify via video or telephone conference, as will Professor Richard McLaren, the man who delivered a damning two-part report

Lawrence Ostlere
Thursday 18 January 2018 00:28
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Grigory Rodchenkov, left, is currently under witness protection in the United States
Grigory Rodchenkov, left, is currently under witness protection in the United States

Grigory Rodchenkov, the whistleblower at the heart of the Russian doping scandal, will submit evidence to the Court of Arbitration for Sport next week when Russia fights the case against 39 athletes who have been banned from competing in the 2018 Winter Olympics.

The International Olympic Committee's disciplinary commission found the group of athletes guilty of anti-doping rule violations during the 2014 Games in Sochi, and issued a ban from all future editions of the Olympics, but the group of athletes – who cover a range of sports including ice hockey, skeleton, bobsleigh and biathlon – are contesting their suspension.

Their case will be heard by CAS on 22 January at the International Conference Centre in Geneva in a hearing expected to last a week. The 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, begins on 9 February.

Rodchenkov is currently in witness protection in the United States and has said he fears for his life in the wake of the scandal, in which he revealed damning evidence of a state-sponsored doping programme in Russia. He will testify via video or telephone conference, as will Professor Richard McLaren, who delivered the damning two-part report in 2016 investigating the scandal.

A further group of three Russian athletes will have their cases heard on a future date.

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