Rodchenkov has linked Russia’s sports minister and deputy sports minister to the cheating schemes, asserting they ordered him and others to tamper with more than 100 steroid-laced urine samples in Sochi, and to conceal similar cheating in the years before and after the 2014 Games.
In the interview with The Times, he named a new figure as having been actively involved in what he called “the Sochi plan”: Alexander Kravtsov, the current president of Russia’s biathlon union. Kravstov served as the diplomatic head of the Russian national team at the Sochi Games on behalf of the Russian Olympic Committee.
“At various times, I spoke to Alexander Kravtsov about the use of performance-enhancing drugs generally, and about the Sochi plan in particular,” Rodchenkov said, adding that Kravtsov’s personal driver had at times transported agents of the Federal Security Service to Russia’s national antidoping laboratory ahead of the Games, to help study and surreptitiously break into the supposedly tamper-proof glass bottles used to collect urine at international sports competitions.
Emphasizing how central the sport of biathlon was in the nation’s cheating, Rodchenkov said that Yuri Nagornykh, the deputy minister of sport, had asked him to incriminate a Ukrainian athlete, Vita Semerenko, during a competition in Moscow leading up to the Olympics.
“He was particularly concerned with Ukrainian female biathletes, who posed the most serious challenge to Russia’s relay team during the Sochi Games,” Rodchenkov said, going on to add that the deputy minister had asked him to “make the sample dirty” to disqualify Semerenko. Rodchenkov did not comply, he said, convincing the minister that a retest of the drug sample would show the drugs had been spiked into the sample rather than passed through a human body.
“I could not have done this to an innocent athlete,” he said. “During my career, I reported many Dirty Samples as clean, but never the other way around.”
Nagornykh was dismissed by the Russian sports ministry after an investigation commissioned by the global regulator of drugs in sports confirmed Rodchenkov’s story last year.
Attempts to reach Kravtsov and Nagornykh on Saturday through the biathlon union and the Sports Ministry were not immediately successful.
Rodchenkov’s lawyer declined to let him respond to some questions based on pending investigations. Since last year, Rodchenkov has been living in the United States under the protection of American authorities. His information on systematic Russian doping is believed to be relevant to continuing investigations in the United States and abroad.
In August, “Icarus,” a film detailing Rodchenkov’s move to the United States and tell-all account, was released. It includes a scene in which Rodchenkov was fingerprinted by agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.