Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Russian whistleblower lives in fear in America

Russian whistleblower lives in fear in America

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks as he presents the 2017 Presidential Prize in Science and Innovation for Young Scientists in Novosibirsk on February 8. AFP
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks as he presents the 2017 Presidential Prize in Science and Innovation for Young Scientists in Novosibirsk on February 8. AFP

Russian whistleblower lives in fear in America

Doping guru Grigory Rodchenkov has emerged from hiding, donning a disguise and reiterating that Russian President Vladimir Putin wants to silence him for good.

The controversial whistleblower and former head of Moscow’s anti-doping laboratory says he is risking his life by exposing Russian doping secrets.

In his first televised interview since fleeing his native Russia, Rodchenkov told the American news programme 60 Minutes on Sunday night that he continues to live in fear in the United States.

“The Kremlin wants me to stop talking,” he told interviewer Scott Pelley.

Since fleeing to America in November 2015, he has gone into hiding because he says Putin wants him dead – a claim he has made several times previously.

The news magazine programme allowed Rodchenkov to wear a disguise and showed him putting on and walking around in a bulletproof vest.

“[The disguise] was done for security reasons,” says Rodchenkov, who dyed his hair a different colour and shaved his moustache. “There is information that my life is in jeopardy and we took all necessary steps.”

Rodchenkov’s escape to America followed the sudden death of two senior officials from Russia’s anti-doping agency. There is a warrant out for his arrest back home.

“I am not a liar. I was not telling truth in Russia, but coming to United States I am telling the truth.”

Rodchenkov said he now wants to dedicate his time to exposing drug cheats and being an advocate for change.

He doubts whether the Olympics will ever have a level playing field for the athletes.

“You could believe, but in fact it is human nature,” he said. “It is our sins. It has nothing to do with sports. There are 10, 15 percent who are incorrigible. You can do nothing – they are cheaters by nature.”

Because Rodchenkov was one of those self-admitted cheaters, he is apologising for his role in the scandals and the deception that he says still goes on, using formulas and techniques that he helped develop.

“I am sorry to create such a problem because of my experience and knowledge,” he said. “Now it is effective and working, and it is not my contribution to fight against doping.”

As a result of his whistleblowing the Russians were stripped of Olympic medals and Russia was banned from this week’s Pyeongchang Games.

But the International Olympic Committee allowed a large group of Russians deemed clean to take part as “Olympic Athletes from Russia”.

The team of Russian athletes stands at 168, the fourth biggest contingent at the Games. Russian competitors marched behind a neutral Olympic flag at Friday’s opening ceremony.

MOST VIEWED

  • 12th Cambodia int’l film festival to see return of Hollywood star

    Phnom Penh is set to come alive with the magic of cinema as the highly anticipated 12th Cambodia International Film Festival (CIFF) takes centre stage. Boasting an impressive line-up of 188 films from 23 countries, including captivating shorts, feature films, documentaries and animation, the festival promises an

  • Brawl marrs football final as Indonesian take gold in seven goal thriller

    The Indonesian men's U22 men national football team were crowned champions of the 32nd SEA Games in Cambodia, defeating Thailand 5-2 in extra time on May 16 at Olympic National Stadium in Phnom Penh. The match was marred by an ugly incident that occured in the 91

  • Bareknuckle champion wants Kun Khmer fighter

    Dave Leduc, who is the current openweight Lethwei boxing champion in Myanmar, has announced that he will travel to Cambodia this year to challenge SEA Games gold medallist Prum Samnang any time that is convenient, after their planned match later this month in Slovakia was

  • Candlelight Party disqualified from July general election

    The National Election Committee (NEC) has disqualified the Candlelight Party (CP) from contesting the upcoming general election, citing a lack of valid documentation. NEC spokesman Khorn Keomono said the CP failed to fulfil one of the three main requirements: including original documentation proving their registration

  • Thong Khon calls for orderly SEA Games closing ceremony

    Thong Khon, Minister of Tourism and permanent vice-president of the Cambodia SEA Games Organising Committee (CAMSOC), calls on all people who have received tickets to the May 17 closing ceremony of the biennial multi-sports extravaganza at the Morodok Techo National Stadium to ensure that the event

  • 1.4 billion dollar Phnom Penh-Bavet expressway due in four years

    The Government, through the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, has officially signed a public-private partnership agreement with a private company for the construction of a Phnom Penh-Bavet Expressway project that will connect the capital to Svay Rieng province. The budget for the project is