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PROFILE Russian doping chief turned whistleblower Rodchenkov

Europe
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Moscow (dpa) - For some he is a whistleblower and for others a traitor. Grigory Rodchenkov, who holds a PhD in analytical chemistry, is one of the most prominent Russian specialists on performance-enhancing drugs.

For nine years, from 2006 to 2015, Rodchenkov headed Moscow‘s anti-doping laboratory. He also admits to participating in a secret doping programme to improve the performance of Russian athletes.

Rodchenkov, 57, was a track-and-field athlete in his youth. In 1985, after studying chemistry, he began to work at the anti-doping lab in Moscow. Later he would work at computer and energy companies, returning to the lab in 2006.

After Rodchenkov‘s sister Marina, a three-time champion in cross-country and road running, was convicted in 2013 of selling performance-enhancing drugs, Rodchenkov began to worry about his job.

But surprisingly, the authorities did not go after Rodchenkov. He suspected that he was spared because of his key role in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

In November 2015, though, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) caught up with Rodchenkov, accusing him of destroying more than 1,400 testing samples. He had to vacate his post as head of the Moscow lab.

Believing his life was in jeopardy in Russia, Rodchenkov fled to Los Angeles.

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