Every Swim Coach Should Watch This Show



Savinova: “Well really, what should we do? How should it go differently? That is our system and in Russia that only works only with pharma… My coach fortunately works with Melnikov and he helps to cover up the tests. They allow him to change the dates for the controls. Oxandrolone is very quickly out of my body out again. It takes less than 20 days. We have tested that – my husband has very good contacts to the doping control laboratory.”


I am in possession of the video and audio in full-length and uncut in the original version. I never receive a reply to my requests from Olympic champion Maria Savinova. And her coach Vladimir Kazarin will concern me later.


Initially, however, the doping control laboratory that is mentioned on the video won’t let me go. What’s it all about? I come an important step closer to finding an answer in Montreal. My request does not come as a surprise at the World Anti-Doping Agency. Because even the WADA itself has found several irregularities in the laboratory. Another piece of the puzzle.


Olivier Rabin, Scientific Director WADA: “There were some elements, that were troublesome to us, why some miscommunication happened in the lab. Why some samples were not reported as positive when we knew they should have been reported as positive. We try to find technical reasons. But sometimes when the technical reasons cannot explain, why a result was not reported positive, yes of course, it is always something, that comes to our mind as a possible reason.”

Reporter: “Corruption?”

Olivier Rabin: “Corruption or what I call interference with the reporting of a result. I mean it can be corruption or it can be something else.”


The lab always denied all suspicions. Nevertheless, shortly before the Games in Sochi it was on the verge of extinction. WADA sent external experts to monitor it. It even threatened withdrawal of accreditation. The sharpest weapon in WADA’s armoury. Whereby, the laboratory is internationally-recognized for its research. Its head is considered an outstanding scientist: Grigoriy Rodchenkov. I’ve known him for long time and I ask myself: what had he possibly also done with his knowledge in Russia?


Vitaliy Stepanov: “He does the same thing as Portugalov, he sells doping to athletes, he provides plans, doping use plans for athletes. And when doping controlls come he makes sure that athletes that are under Mr Rodchenkov they don’t get positive tests. Of course, he does it for money.”


Oleg Popov, coach throwing events: “If someone took banned substances during preparations, the laboratory found out about it. And among these top athletes, especially the most famous, the top 10 on the best performance lists, for the athletes who belonged, in those cases samples were sometimes exchanged.”


Evgenia Pecherina, discus thrower: “Rodchenkov is informed about everything. He knows how long which drugs need to disappear from the body. Those which need longer and those which need less time. He knows about it and he instructs. He is the most important specialist.”


They are serious accusations about the Director. Who, incidentally, also was head of the Olympic control laboratory a year ago in Sochi. What does he have to say about the allegations?


Grigoriy Rodchenkov, Anti-doping Laboratory Moscow: “You should be very careful to believe cheaters. Because they have the catastrophe of their life.”


He says he is innocent, but I want to know more.

Reporter: “Have you ever accepted money to cover up doping? Grigoriy Rodchenkov, Anti-doping Laboratory Moscow Did I ever take money? From people who wanted to cover up doping?”

Grigoriy Rodchenkov, Anti-doping Laboratory Moscow: “I never took money from people who try to cover up doping? The first question is: no. Until at here. You can see many rumors. But, it’s again… All people are referring to me. OK, we know Grigoriy and he wants to solve problem. It is not the case.”


Strange: three years ago Rodchenkov was suspected of dealing in doping substances. The State did not pursue the accusations against its own employee further.


Rodchenkov stressed later in writing, that he never faced charges and denied once again any manipulation.


Zurich in August. I am still concerned: how do those responsible in the Russian Federation handle respond to the topic of doping? For that reason I am at the European Athletics Championships. The Russian coaches are kept very busy counting the number of medals. 22 medals in total for Russia.


And then there is the man who does not want to talk to me: Valentin Balakhnichev, President of the Russian Athletics Federation. In the 1980s he was a Soviet coach, when doping was at its peak. Today an honorary member of the European Athletics Federation.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Sponsorship & Partnerships

Official Sponsors and Partners of the American Swimming Coaches Association

Join Our Mailing List

Subscribe and get the latest Swimming Coach news