The chemist has kept a diary most of his life. His daily habit is to record where he went, whom he talked to and what he ate. At the top of each and every entry, he scrawls his blood stress.
Two of his hardback journals, each embossed with the calendar year and filled with handwritten notes from a Waterman pen, are now amongst the vital pieces of proof that could result in Russia becoming absent from the next Olympic Games.
The chemist is Grigory Rodchenkov, who spent years helping Russia’s athletes achieve an edge by employing banned substances. His diaries cataloging 2014 and 2015 — his final years as Russia’s antidoping lab chief prior to he fled to the United States — offer a new level of detail about Russia’s elaborate cheating at the last Winter Games and the extent to which, he says, the nation’s government and Olympic officials had been involved.
His contemporaneous notes, seen exclusively by The New York Times, speak to a essential situation for Olympic officials: the state’s involvement in the huge sports fraud. In recent days, it has become clear that the International Olympic Committee is convinced of the authenticity of the notes and that they are most likely to contribute to the group’s decision to situation extreme penalties.
Olympic officials will announce their decision on Dec. five. If they do not bar Russia totally from the coming Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, they are probably to keep all Russian emblems out of the Games: The Russian flag would not fly at the opening and closing ceremony, Russian athletes would compete in neutral uniforms and the Russian anthem would not be played. Such restrictions, Russian officials have stated, would be tantamount to an outright ban, and Russia would take into account boycotting the 2018 Olympics.
“The Disciplinary Commission does not think about it at all most likely that these pages had been newly re-written or that, at the time, Dr. Rodchenkov misrepresented the reality in his personal way,” an I.O.C. document published on Monday mentioned. “These entries may possibly for that reason be considered as a substantial evidential element.”
With each other with Rodchenkov’s sworn statements, the diaries detail distinct discussions about cheating he had with prominent officials such as Vitaly Mutko, Russia’s sports minister at the time who is now the nation’s deputy prime minister Yuri Nagornykh, Mutko’s former deputy sports minister, who also belonged to Russia’s Olympic Committee and Irina Rodionova, the former deputy director of the center of sports preparation of national teams of Russia.
Alongside those consequential conversations, Rodchenkov recorded the mundane specifics of his life — simple errands like acquiring a Bounty chocolate bar at Sochi’s central marketplace along with cold medicine for Thierry Boghosian, the international lab inspector who never ever detected Russia’s brazen breaches of drug-testing during the 3 weeks of the Games.
On Jan. 13, 2014, Rodchenkov wrote that Rodionova’s assistant, Aleksey Kiushkin, had brought him a drug cocktail recognized among the officials as Duchess, a mixture of three anabolic steroids and Martini-brand vermouth. Rodchenkov had formulated the drink for top athletes to take throughout the Olympics, and Rodionova prepared and distributed it to coaches and athletes.
“Kiushkin came with tons of news. He also brought a freshly-created Martini. I took it appropriate away,” wrote Rodchenkov, who routinely tested drugs on himself and documented their effects.
For the following week, as the Sochi Games approached, alongside admirations of his new Samsung smartphone and criticisms of Olympic cafeteria meals, Rodchenkov recorded his frustration that officials had not clearly outlined their plans to transport from Moscow the hundreds of ounces of clean urine that leading athletes had for months collected in infant food jars and old soda bottles — urine that was the linchpin to what he repeatedly referred to as “the Sochi plan.”
“There’s no clear understanding of the strategy, it is just a nightmare!” he wrote on Jan. 29, one particular day soon after two best Russian biathlon athletes had been caught doping in Austria. “Mutko is freaking out over biathlon, issues are out of control and chaotic.”
On Feb. 1, he followed instructions that Nagornykh, the deputy minister, had given him at the Azimut hotel the evening prior to. Rodchenkov inspected the developing adjacent to his lab, controlled by the Federal Security Service, he stated. The stockpiled urine had arrived in Sochi and was surreptitiously stored there, he wrote, but he was maddened that the samples were not sorted by sport or alphabetized by every single corresponding athlete’s name.
“Nothing is prepared there,” he wrote. “I completed a complete inventory.”
On Feb. 3, four days just before the Sochi Games began, Rodchenkov’s preparations culminated with his presentation to Mutko, the sports minister. In a meeting at Mutko’s office at the nearby organizing committee’s headquarters, Rodchenkov wrote that day, he had handed Mutko a copy of the “Duchess list,” naming the dozens of Russian Olympians who had been ingesting the drug cocktail and would have their incriminating urine swapped out with their prestocked clean urine.
At that meeting, according to the diary entry, the minister recommended keeping the Olympic laboratory open soon after the Games, as a place to experiment with new frontiers of doping.
“We went over all the issues,” Rodchenkov wrote on Feb. 3, noting he had been up considering that six:20 a.m. preparing. “He desires to preserve Sochi as a backup facility.”
5 days later, at the Azimut Hotel in Sochi, the minister followed up, requesting Rodchenkov place in writing a request to keep the lab open, which Rodchenkov did that evening as he drank tea, he wrote on Feb. 8.
Following several investigative reports published final year, Russia’s coordinated cheating has been accepted as fact among top Olympic officials, in spite of a largely defiant response from Russian authorities that has grown fiercer in recent weeks. This fall, Russia criminally charged Rodchenkov with abuse of authority and indicated it would request his extradition. Authorities had previously seized his house in Moscow, exactly where his loved ones remains.
Russian officials have suggested Rodchenkov acted alone in tampering with a lot more than one hundred incriminating urine samples in Sochi, an act which has so far led the worldwide officials to order Russia to return 11 Olympic medals. “One can hardly steal a victory that has already been won,” a Kremlin spokesman stated Monday about these disqualifications.
President Vladimir V. Putin has forcefully disputed the state’s involvement, a query that could be the distinction between a full ban of the nation’s athletes and a lesser punishment, such as barring the Russian anthem from playing at the 2018 Games.
But consequences are anticipated to extend beyond the Winter Games, as the widespread cheating that investigators confirmed stretched across seasons, sports and years — as Rodchenkov also closely detailed discussing with Russia’s most potent sports officials in his journals.
Rodchenkov was watching television on Jan. 8, 2014, when the deputy minister called to reprimand him soon after a star racewalker, Elena Lashmanova, had been caught doping. “Nagornykh named — he’s calling everyone on the carpet,” Rodchenkov wrote. “I came to the ministry, waited for Nagornykh, had a two-hr discussion about specifics of the Sochi prep.”
Months later, on March 14, 2014, Rodchenkov wrote that he had sat in his vehicle, charging his telephone, although speaking to Mutko, who had called to “let me have it” for not efficiently covering up Lashmanova’s drug use.
On April 21, 2014, Rodchenkov debated with Nagornykh regardless of whether to falsify the star athlete’s record, anything the deputy minister was advocating but Rodchenkov feared would draw the consideration of worldwide regulators and jeopardize his lab’s accreditation, he mentioned.
“He got an superb tan in Mexico,” Rodchenkov wrote after meeting with Nagornykh at the sports ministry that day. “I spent 1.five hours there fighting. Nagornykh gradually backed off. We agreed to go see Mutko by 1:00.”
In July 2014, Lashmanova was suspended.
Final year, right after an initial investigation commissioned by the international regulator of drugs in sports had confirmed Rodchenkov’s account, the Russian government dismissed Nagornykh, Zhelanova and Rodionova. Putin elevated Mutko to deputy premier in October 2016.
In an interview with The Times final year, Mutko distanced himself from Rodchenkov, saying his deputy, Nagornykh, had managed preparations for Sochi.
But throughout the Games, Rodchenkov documented multiple meals with Mutko and acted with familiarity, according to his everyday notes. “I ate Mutko’s grapes,” he wrote on Feb. 17 about a lunch at which he had currently eaten sea bass filet and mutton soup. “Everyone is exhausted.”
Rodchenkov and his lawyer say the contemporaneous notes make clear he was a foot soldier in a system that was controlled at the highest levels of the state. Documents published Monday by the International Olympic Committee indicate they, too, accept his account.
“Dr. Rodchenkov was telling the truth when he offered explanations of the cover-up scheme he managed,” Olympic officials wrote in the very first disciplinary decision connected to the Russian doping scandal, justifying a lifetime ban for the 19th Russian athlete so far disciplined for the Sochi schemes.
While it is unclear if the entire Russian national team will be penalized for the cheating, Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee, recommended this month that the coming sanctions will be a lot more extreme than those levied ahead of the 2016 Summer Games in Rio, from which a lot more than 100 athletes were barred.
“It is about the manipulation of the antidoping method of the Olympic Games,” Bach mentioned in an interview with The New York Times. “These are our tests, and this is the lab of the Olympic Games, and therefore our position now is extremely considerably different” than it was ahead of Rio.
“It’s not our job to make everyone content,” Bach said. “It’s our job to sanction this in a proportionate and proper way.”
Rodchenkov is living in an undisclosed place in the United States under protection from American authorities. His lawyer stated Rodchenkov had been fully cooperative with U.S. and international agencies concerning Russia’s doping system.
“If the I.O.C. fails to act to severely punish this frontal assault on the integrity of the Olympics, it will forever shed the moral authority to punish any cheaters,” mentioned the lawyer, Jim Walden, of the firm Walden, Macht and Haran.
Rodchenkov told The Occasions final year that he had recorded the particulars of his work in Moscow somewhat mindfully, and not on a computer — as his pal Nikita Kamayev, Russia’s former antidoping chief who died abruptly in 2016, had carried out. It was Kamayev who gave Rodchenkov the black and gold Waterman pen he used for his diaries.
Rodchenkov attributed Kamayev’s sudden death to his announcement that he was writing a book, from which Rodchenkov mentioned he attempted to dissuade him.
“I told him, I’m not writing with a computer,” Rodchenkov said in May possibly 2016. “I’m writing with your pen.”
Published at Tue, 28 Nov 2017 19:05:30 +0000