Moscow: The German TV broadcaster ARD’s film about doping in sports is part of a massive attack against Russia, Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko has said. “It can be seen not just in the German media. It’s a targeted attack against Russia, calm and well-organised. Doping whistleblower Rodchenkov works for the people that have given him refuge,” Mutko said on Thursday, reports Tass.
“We don’t know what he has gathered since 2005. He is still to retrieve it.”
The minister also claims that he personally is the main target of allegations made by former head of Moscow’s anti-doping laboratory Grigory Rodchenkov.
“I am his, Rodchenkov’s, target,” he told reporters. “He hates me in all his interviews. My advisor Natalia Zhelanova drew attention to all these things. I fired him,” Mutko said.
The latest film about doping abuse in Russian sports, aired late on Wednesday night, claims that Mutko in 2014 concealed information that an anonymous player of the Krasnodar football club had tested positive for a prohibited substance.
The informer shared with the TV channel correspondence between the sports ministry and the anti-doping laboratory regarding a football player who was proved to have used hexarelin (growth hormone), but was not punished for that.
The film showed a page from that correspondence where all crucial information, including the player’s name was deleted.
An ARD journalist then remarked that the initials V.L. mentioned in the correspondence were the first letters of Mutko’s name and patronymic.
On that basis he made the conclusion that doping abuse in Russia was being covered up at the government level.
“Our investigators may find out many such things. More charges can follow each day. Calm work should proceed here. Pressures on and concerns over our sports are unprecedented,” Mutko said.