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Russian court orders arrest of doping whistleblower

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-09-29 09:26

Russian court orders arrest of doping whistleblower

File photo shows Pavel Kolobkov, Minister of Sport of Russia addresses the Symposium of the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) in Ecublens, Switzerland, March 13, 2017. [Photo/Agencies]

MOSCOW - A Moscow court has issued a warrant for the arrest of World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) informant Grigory Rodchenkov, who exposed doping abuse among Russian athletes, local media reported Thursday.

The warrant was issued in absentia since Rodchenkov, who was head of a Moscow anti-doping lab from 2006 to 2015, fled to the United States at the end of 2015, becoming an informant for WADA.

The court also put him on an international "wanted" list for alleged abuse of authority, Sputnik and Interfax news agencies said, quoting the court's spokesperson.

Last year, an independent WADA commission released a report based on Rodchenkov's testimony, accusing Russia of state-sponsored doping programs to illegally boost Russian athletes' performances.

The scandal prevented a large number of Russian athletes and officials from participating in the 2016 Rio Olympics and Paralympics.

Russia has repeatedly denied organizing state-run doping programs and stepped up anti-doping measures since the WADA allegations.

In March 2017, the Russian government published an anti-doping order, listing the methods and substances banned in sports.

In July, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree stipulating that Russian athletes, coaches and other sports specialists found guilty of breaching anti-doping rules would lose their presidential scholarships.

In August, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev signed an order to set up a national laboratory providing anti-doping support to Russian national sports teams.

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