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Russian Court Issues Arrest Warrant For Doping Whistle-Blower

Grigory Rodchenkov

A Moscow court on September 28 announced that it had issued an arrest warrant for Russian whistle-blower 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, said.

Russia will now be able to request that the United States extradite Rodchenkov, but the two countries do not have an extradition treaty.

The court spokeswoman said that Rodchenkov's defense team has appealed his arrest.

Rodchenkov, 58, is the former director of Moscow's anti-doping lab that oversaw drug testing at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia's Black Sea city of Sochi.

He headed the lab from 2006 to 2015 before fleeing to the United States.

In May 2016, he described in an an interview to The New York Times an elaborate doping scheme that he said involved dozens of Russian athletes at the Sochi Olympics.

A report by a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) independent commission issued last year said Rodchenkov had admitted to "intentionally destroying" 1,417 test samples ahead of an audit.

It said Russia's cover-up scheme affected 30 sports and was in operation from 2010 until 2015.

Russia's Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) was declared "noncompliant" with international sports' anti-doping code in November 2015 after revelations by Russian athletes in a documentary broadcast by German television.

Russia's track-and-field Olympics squad and entire Paralympics team were barred from Rio 2016 and the country remains banned from international athletics.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AP, and AFP