09:04 GMT23 January 2021
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    Russian racing cyclists who were barred by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) from the 2016 Summer Olympics over doping allegations, have asked the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to eliminate former Russian doping lab chief Grigory Rodchenkov's testimony on an alleged Russian state-run doping cover-up from the agency's McLaren report.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — In August, Russian Doctor of Law Vladimir Botnev released a critical analysis stressing that the McLaren report is based mainly on Rodchenkov's testimony despite the former doping lab chief's evident lack of trustworthiness.

    Botnev cited WADA's own information on Rodchenkov's criminal activities, corruption, bribe-taking, blackmailing and active doping misconduct and quoted a 2015 WADA report which dismissed the credibility of Rodchenkov's statements on doping sample destruction. The McLaren report does not give any evidence of any pressure exerted on Rodchenkov to violate the doping code and the lab chief's actions appear to be willful and pro-active, the analysis concluded.

    "We cannot understand why we were barred from the Olympics due to this insane criminal's testimony only, in violation of the World Anti-Doping Code provisions. We evidently were deprived of any fair possibility just to present our explanations in relation to these unfounded and false allegations made by such a persistent offender like Mr. Rodchenkov," Dmitry Sokolov, Kirill Sveshnikov and Dmitry Strakhov said in their letter to WADA.

    The letter reminded WADA of the fact that a criminal case over illegal substance trafficking was initiated against Rodchenkov in Russia as far back as 2011, but proceedings were avoided due to his alleged mental illness.

    "Mr. Rodchenkov himself admitted the commission of many severe violations in anti-doping, as well as commission of ordinary crimes such as perjury, illegal trafficking, fraud, blackmail, etc," the letter added.

    The letter has been sent to WADA as well as the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the UCI, the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations, the Association of National Olympic Committees as well as Richard McLaren, the author of the McLaren report, the cyclists' representative, Andrei Mitkov, told R-Sport.

    The McLaren report, published by WADA in July, accused Russia of running an athletes' doping sample swapping scheme. The report led to the Russian athletic team's suspension from the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and its ban from taking part in the 2016 Games. A number of other athletes were also barred from taking part due to being mentioned in the report.

    Rodchenkov, who is currently living in exile in the United States, is now being looked into by a Russian Investigative Committee, but US legal authorities have not been cooperative with the investigation and hardly respond to Russian requests for legal assistance, according to the committee.


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    doping, 2016 Olympic Games, International Olympic Committee (IOC), WADA, Richard McLaren, Dmitry Strakhov, Kirill Sveshnikov, Dmitry Sokolov, Grigory Rodchenkov, Russia
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