Doping scandal with Russia. Lawyer: “Sport is abused for political goals”

This article was published by ‘Sputnik Germany’ and translated to English. This is not a faultless translation and for the original German version visit:


The Swiss lawyer Emmanuel Kilchenmann has doubts about the independent investigation into alleged doping allegations of the Russian athletes before the 2016 Olympics. He has ensured that all Russian Canoe Sprint athletes have been reinstated. In the interview, he gives his comments.

The Swiss lawyers Emmanuel Kilchenmann and Serge Vittoz from Lausanne, representing Russian canoe sprint athletes, achieved that the ICF Anti-doping Committee end March has lifted the provisional suspension of nine Russian canoe sprint athletes, some of whom were suspended before the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and were not allowed to compete there. The ICF has not been able to provide sufficient evidence that the athletes have broken any anti-doping rule, as claimed by the Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren in his report for the international anti-doping agency WADA.

Kilchenmann states in his interview with Sputnik correspondent Nikolay Jolkin, that for him it was a matter of justice.

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“It’s irrelevant these are Russian athletes. In any doping case everyone has equal legal rights. The law is based on justice and equality, which was not the case here. Based on facts and productive dialogue we succeeded in convincing the [ICF Anti-Doping] Committee and explaining them that if they do not clear the Russians, we will continue and win. The law was on our side”.

[ Extract “Decision by the International Canoe Federation regarding Russian canoeists”:

The Panel, having heard the athletes and assessed the evidence available for each individual case, found that there was insufficient evidence to justify findings of individual anti-doping rule violations against any of the nine athletes named in the proceedings. Therefore, the athletes are now free to compete, subject to the additional eligibility criteria that apply to Russian athletes for International Competitions during the 2017 season.

2017.04.01.ICF_Decision_Russia_Press_Release.pdf ]

Press conference Team Russia after decision ICF

According to the Swiss lawyer, there is currently a targeted pressure on Russia. In the west, most people have the critical look at Russia, which is also reflected in our case. “There are many controversial points. First of all, why made Mr. McLaren his report public exactly 2-3 weeks prior to the Olympic Games? At that point in time he hasn’t finished [the report] yet. It is incredible to release the report before the Olympic Games when it is not even finished”.

The second report was published only in January this year [December 2016]. Mr. Kilchenmann thinks it’s possible that Mr. McLaren’s actions were deliberate.

“Otherwise he simply could have taken more time to finish the Report accurately and then to go stronger and well-prepared against the Russians, who are allegedly not respecting the anti-doping regulations. But that was not the case. There are already some forces that use sport for political means”.

Regarding ARD journalist Mr. Hajo Seppelt and Mr. McLaren, it will be difficult to call them to account. The first one will “hide himself behind freedom of media”, the second one will say that he has done his job with a “clear conscience”. It is impossible to take them to account and to punish them legally. However, I hope that this case shows that Mr. McLaren‘s Report was not enough to keep the athletes out of the Olympic Games. This is scandalous.

The 2012 Olympic champion in K-2 men 200m Alexander Dyachenko, who had all the chances to defend his title again in Rio [2016] and to win with his K-2 partner, was provisionally suspended by the International Canoe Federation. He is now completely rehabilitated and says:

“That was very hard for me. We have trained four years for these Olympic Games. During this period everything happened to us, including injuries and defeats. But just before the Olympic Games we were in good shape, showing good results and fast time. Then we were informed that we couldn’t go to the Olympics. The emotions overwhelmed me”.

The motivation to train simply disappeared. “Imagine how you feel, this investigation lasting for six months. You loose [sport] shape. Meanwhile the K-2 men 200m was out of the Olympic Program. We could have won in Rio and stay undefeated forever.”

The Russian Canoe Federation is not the only one Federation who successfully defended its athletes. The athletes of the Russian Fencing Federation were also totally reinstated in their rights, the same as other Russian Sport Federations. The Olympic Games of Rio 2016 are not over yet.

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