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It is no wonder that the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RuSADA) prevented a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) task force from entering the Moscow Laboratory on several occasions. The number of athletes that cheated with performance-enhancing drugs through a systematic doping process is over 200, reveals WADA. A further 73 athletes in over 183 cases continue to be investigated.
“The continued success of WADA’s Operation LIMS investigation is a testament to the significant work being conducted by the agency’s Intelligence and Investigations, and Legal Affairs departments,” said WADA President Witold Bańka.
“I would also like to thank the International Federations and other Anti-Doping Organisations that have diligently followed up on the evidentiary packages WADA provided to them and continue to bring cases as appropriate.
“WADA is following up with all the relevant authorities involved in the investigation to ensure justice is served for athletes around the world.”
The Rodchenkov Affair
Grigory Rodchenkov, who wrote the autobiography, The Rodchenkov Affair, after escaping Russia to find exile in the US, also played a role in the Oscar-winning documentary Icarus. In both cases, he helped reveal the secrets of Russian systematic doping. Rodchenkov managed the Moscow Laboratory, which held the LIMS mainframe computer or Laboratory Information Management System.
The US brought doping for sports performance into criminal law naming it the Rodchenkov Act. The very first athlete to be charged under the Rodchenkov Act was Texas-based naturopathic therapist Eric Lira. He admitted to supplying Nigerian sprinter Blessing Okagbare with performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs). Lira also provided fellow Nigerian Divine Oduduru with the PEDs, earlier this month.
While Russia continues to seek inclusion in the 2024 Paris Olympic Games, the latest news on there being over 200 positive results puts another nail in the coffin, as does the illegal war on Ukraine.
ARD TV and Hajo Seppelt
Investigative journalist Hajo Seppelt was one of the first to find out about systematic doping in Russia. The documentary, The Secrets of Doping: How Russia Makes it Winners revealed the secret workings in the Sochi Lab, which Rodchenkov masterminded. The passing of urine samples through a hole in the wall, to exchange them for clean ones was caught on camera.
Seppelt was also the first to expose Kenya to rampant doping. He posed as a sports agent and with a hidden camera, found that at the street level PEDs could easily and openly be purchased. Kenya now has the second most athletes serving suspensions for doping, whereabouts failures, athlete biological passport anomalies and testing positive for PEDs. They have had approximately 70 athletes suspended since.
Kenya has now brought doping into criminal law.
Kenyan criminal law
Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba, said more recently that Kenya will fight valiantly against the issue in the country — which he called a “serious war against doping. We are going to criminalize doping to levels you cannot imagine. We are going to be very, very harsh.”
“Kenya is a very proud sporting nation. We pride ourselves on being world-beaters, but we beat the world by playing clean. I want all of us to say “no” to doping.”
“As a government, we are going to make doping very expensive to elevate doping substances to the same level as hard drugs,” he added. “If we catch you engaged in doping, we shall punish you severely.”
Kenyan Sports Minister Amina Mohamed announced on Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019, that the ministry was working on legislation to make doping in sport a criminal offence worthy of potential jail time. Since that time more than 50 athletes have been suspended within the anti-doping laws, not criminal law.
Doping continues. On May 17 10K world record holder Rhonex Kipruto was provisionally suspended for ABP anomalies, he may appeal. The day prior Nicholas Mboroto Kosimbei was suspended for testing positive for trimetazidine.
Russia and Kenya continue to fight to stay in the Games
The two beleaguered countries remain steadfast in their efforts to stay in the Games. While Russia is fighting severe reputational damage by bombing Ukraine, its clean-up act appears to be a ruse.
During the winter, World Athletics was rumoured to begin the process of banning Kenya. At the 11th hour, the global governing body announced financial support to Athletics Kenya to the tune of $ 5 million USD to “stamp out the scourge that plagues the sport.”