Russian Sports Minister Mutko: No Reply When Asked ‘Did You Suppress Doping News’

Russia got to chink glasses with the IOC once more in Rio - but the IPC locked the nation out of the Paralympics, with CAS backing [All images are stills from "Red Herrings" by ARD]

Vladimir Mutko, the Russian Sports Minister at the heart of the defence against his country’s track and field team being locked out of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in the face of overwhelming evidence of systematic cheating, stands accused of keeping the reporting of a doping offence by a top-flight footballer out of the public domain.

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I think the most shocking things alleged to have happened in the Russian doping scandal are what may have occurred in Sochi. Straight out of a Bond movie. The Blue Pill Corps of East Berlin and Jena, as sinister as it was, were mainly doctors and pen pushers. This seems to involve operatives and heavies.

The rot begins at the top. It’s sad because I think Russia would be a top sporting nation in a clean sporting world. They have traditions in several sports. Not until a new generation of leadership comes into place in that country will true change occur. It’s not something you purge easily. A de-tox diet won’t suffice when what you really need is a colonoscopy.

Craig Lord

KeithM – they weren’t all pen pushers in the GDR 🙂 – army generals and regime top table folk sat in on the meetings to decide State Plan 14:25 – the orders cam from on high – very much so.


My post was sort of disjointed. The comment about the “higher ups” was a separate but related train of thought. What I meant was more along the lines of thugs and strong men (literal not metaphorical). People you would see during James Bond action sequences. Breaking into facilities, carrying guns, spy movie type subterfuge (ie switching out test samples), etc. Politicians and Generals are pen pushers in the sense that you wouldn’t expect them to get embroiled in the above activities. Can you think of anything from the GDR era that compares to the alleged capers of Sochi? Of course back then the testing protocol was in it’s relative infancy so Kipke and company had little need for such antics.

Craig Lord

Yes, I see what you mean, KeithM. There were some things that fit that bill, like syringes and other stuff dumped in a lake near an Olympic facility; like every team having an informer (or several) in the mix; like teenage girls being pulled out of queues at the airport last-minute so they could driven 300km away to a facility to have their bodies ‘washed’ of banned substance that had showed up in internal tests. There were some pretty awful things going on in the mix of it all. The mood is well captured in Anna Funder’s Stasi land (not a sports book but it gives you a good feel for the atmosphere).


I’ll have to check that one out. My knowledge of GDR society/politics from cultural sources is mainly limited to the films Goodbye Lenin and The Lives of Others. And I guess only the latter really counts!

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