"Again, I wish to apologize to the world for my part in the Russian state-sponsored doping system," Walden said, reading a letter purportedly written by Rodchenkov, who remains hidden away at an undisclosed location somewhere in the US.
In the letter, Rochenkov purportedly wrote that he had orders from Vladimir Putin that "Russia must win at any cost," including through doping. "To refuse to go along would have been a death sentence," his letter stated.
The informant, whom the World Anti-Doping Agency used as the basis of its case against Russian Olympic athletes, said he hoped his "difficult decision to come forward and tell the truth will lead to continuing reforms."
Rodchenkov's in-absentia 'testimony' to the Helsinki Commission on the impact of doping in international sport was made following the introduction of the so-called Rodchenkov Anti-Doping Act, a US bipartisan bill seeking to invoke criminal penalties for doping at international sporting competitions. In his letter, Rodchenkov said that he "fully support[s]" the proposed legislation.
Rodchenkov fled to the United States in 2016, where he became a WADA star informant. His testimony on the alleged machinations involving doping at the Sochi Olympics formed the basis of a WADA report led by Richard McLaren, which prompted Russia's effective suspension from the 2018 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games and stripped the Russian Olympic team of its first place finish at the 2014 Games. A total of 43 Russian athletes were banned from competition for life, despite the fact that no evidence corroborating Rodchenkov's testimony was provided.
In February 2018, three Russian biathletes filed a $30 million defamation suit against Rodchenkov. In April, the informant was forced to retract part of his testimony after it was shown to be contradictory with his earlier claims. In May, the Russian Investigative Committee handed WADA exhaustive evidence discrediting the informant's testimony.