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We win battle by battle, but not war

6 (2009)
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Propaganda against using of the forbidden preparations is some kind of predicant activity, which not everyone can manage, considers the head of Anti-dope centre Grigory Rodchenkov.

For two years that have passed from the moment of the announcement of the Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia was catched by the wave of the doping control scandals. After the shame of the whole Russian biathlonists team in the World championship in South Korea, the war with «chemistry» was taken under the state control: the dope, as well as sports is the image of the country.

The forbidden medicine are saled in any drugstore

— In February, 2009 the chartered secretary of the president of the Russian Federation Vladimir Kozhin declared, that modern Doping Control centre will be created in Russia. Did you mean your modernised centre? Or it is going to be cardinally new structure?

— There is one Doping Control centre in Russia, it was created in 1977, on the eve of the Moscow Olympic Games-80. Now Federal State Unitary Enterprise «Doping Control centre» of the Ministry of sports, tourism and the youth policy of the Russian Federation has the international status of completely accredited World Doping Control agency laboratory and is one of the five leading doping ccontrol world centres. It is the advanced analytical laboratory by level of equipment and experts qualification.

— And what about the legislative basis, which is created in present conditions of toughening of responsibility for dope use? What is necessary to correct first of all?

— At the heart of the international legislative base lies the Doping Control code and international UNESCO conventions about struggle against the dope in sports, accepted in 2005. Practically, all manufacturers and suppliers of pharmaceutical production and medicine are obliged to give full information about the content of forbidden dope. Nobody pays attention to it in our country, and many of sportsmen are caught with a dope bought in a usual drugstore. Striking example are diuretics, forbidden all-the-year-round, but saled in any drugstore without any identification dope mark! And, unfortunately, Russian sportsmen are caught with them regularly.

Professionals can't be caught with a dope

— What are modern methods of struggle against a dope? Are there excesses?

— There are no excesses now, they exist only in the fevered imagination of some journalists. And the methods of struggle will be improved in the same way as methods of deceit and manipulations are improved in modern sports. It is eternal war, where we pursue the violators of doping control legislation and, speaking figuratively, we win battle by battle, but not war.

— There is an opinion, that to catch all violators means to leave big sports without professionals. What do you think?

— I think, that here there is some contradiction in definition, because professionals are those, who can not be caught with a dope and it is impossible to tell, if they take dope or not. So, the big sports will not lack professionals, there is no reason to worry.

— What kinds of sports in Russia get under intent attention of the Doping Control centre?

— In quantitative expression — track and field athletics, ski kinds of sports, swimming, football, weightlifting and struggle.

— The head of sportsmen committee of Doping Control centre Vyacheslav Fetisov connects predilection of compatriots for a dope and unwillingness to plead guilty with the Russian mentality. Do you agree?

— Perhaps, I will agree with the second part of the statement. However, “predilection” is connected, in my opinion, with three reasons: availability of the dope and with absence of effective and distinct anti-dope propaganda.

How anti-dope propaganda will be spent in Russia? Whether the sportsmen, who were caught would be involved?

— This is the duty of “RUSADA” agency to take part in anti-dope propaganda, but I don't remeber such cases. Now sportsmen either agree with disqualification, or struggle with the international federations, proving their innocence. And, at last, paraphrasing the words of Bulgakov's Voland, it is possible to say, that nobody has been ever caught “by chance”. They got what they deserved.

The inquiry

The head of Doping Control centre Grigory Rodchenkov enjoys esteem in world doping control community. 40 qualified well prepared employees work in this centre. The laboratory equipment is capable to define 10-milliard part of a milligramme in tests, it is very high indicator. Laboratory has the devices, which cost about one million dollars. The laboratory makes spectrometer, biochemical, isotope researches and other kinds of modern doping control analyses.


Author: Irina Varlamova