MOSCOW: Russian investigators said on Saturday they had launched a criminal case against the former head of the country’s anti-doping laboratory who alleged the government and security service were involved in cover-ups.
The move came after the athletics world governing body IAAF unanimously voted to uphold Russia’s suspension in the Rio Olympics after accusations of state-sponsored doping.
The powerful Investigative Committee said it had started a criminal case against Grigory Rodchenkov for “abuse of power.”
Rodchenkov, who has fled to the United States, last month described an elaborate doping cover-up scheme at the 2014 Sochi Olympics that involved at least 15 medallists, with the close involvement of the sports ministry and the FSB security service.
Last week a programme aired on German public broadcaster ARD — based in part on documents from Rodchenkov — alleged that Russian authorities had covered up doping cases despite calls for reform.
Russian officials have lambasted Rodchenkov for making bombshell allegations.
Investigators on Saturday accused Rodchenkov of “trying to conceal shortcomings and violations in his activities” and undermining Russia’s interests.
“Through his actions Rodchenkov caused substantial damage to the legally protected interests of the state,” a statement said, adding that he had also violated “Russia’s international interests” and had discredited the country’s anti-doping policy.
Investigators said last week that they were probing former officials of Russia’s scandal-ridden athletics federation, saying that their actions had led to the IAAF suspension.