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by Neal Rogers
September 30, 2017
In today’s Daily News Digest: Russia court issues arrest warrant for doping whistleblower Grigory Rodchenkov; Sacha Modolo moves from UAE Emirates to EF Education First-Drapac for two years; After six years with Orica-Scott, Jens Keukeleire to Lotto-Soudal for 2018-19; Toms Skujins leaves Cannondale-Drapac, signs two-year deal with Trek-Segafredo; Davide Martinelli renews contract with Quick-Step Floors for two years; TT world champion Van Vleuten to pursue cyclocross, mountain-bike, and track aspirations; GoPro launches Hero6 Black and Fusion 360; Red Bull Last Stand eliminator criterium returns to Alamo Plaza in San Antonio; Colorado man who shot cyclists with pellet gun faces only misdemeanor charges.
A Moscow court has issued an arrest warrant for Russian whistleblower Grigory Rodchenkov, who helped orchestrate the country’s state-sponsored Olympic doping program and has since fled to the United States.
“The investigators put Rodchenkov on an international wanted list. Our court on September 21 issued a ruling to arrest him in absentia since he is wanted internationally,” the court’s spokeswoman Yunona Tsareva told AFP.
Rodchenkov was the director of Moscow’s WADA-accredited anti-doping lab that oversaw drug testing at the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games. In May 2016 he gave an interview to the New York Times describing an elaborate doping scheme that he said involved dozens of Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics. He also features prominently in the doping documentary Icarus, released by Netflix last month.
A bombshell report by a World Anti-Doping Agency independent commission, published in November 2016, said Rodchenkov had admitted to “intentionally destroying” 1,417 test samples ahead of an audit. As a result, Russian track and field athletes were barred from the Rio Olympics last year and from the athletics World Championships in London last month.
Russia has consistently denied running a state-run doping programme, with deputy prime minister Vitaly Mutko pinning blame on Rodchenkov’s laboratory and Russia’s Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA). The Investigative Committee opened a criminal investigation into Rodchenkov in 2016, accusing him of abuse of office, for which he could serve up to four years in jail. In a New York Times op-ed piece published last week, Rodchenkov said he fled his homeland because he feared for his life and his family’s safety. Russia and the U.S. do not have an extradition treaty.