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Explosive interview by Magomed Guseinov

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The Russian wrestling team was definitely doping, there is no doubt about that. they were working with Rodchenkov. He was giving them PEDs and cleaning their urine for RUSADA. If you read the emails from the McLaren report Rodchenkov's assist asks what they should do since the wrestling team wasn't paying (I think it was about $3-4K) and Rodcheknov says "screw them if they don't pay" [translated].

 

the training centers may be decentralized but Putin had the doping program up and running for all the Olympic teams. 

 

if guys in the US are doping, it would be them acting independently, not through a state sponsored system that Russia/USSR has been running since the 1960s. 

 

also the USSR being broke and corrupt just led to organized crime infiltrating the upper echelon of Russian sports. its why Mamiashvili is in charge and is proven incredibly difficult to dislodge.

 

for Russia's performance in Paris I think 1) some guys didn't wrestle because they were worried about increased anti doping efforts (speculative) but 2) Russia still sent their best available wrestlers and 3) Russia still won 5 freestyle medals and BARELY came in second. it was more just having a down year and the USA having a really good tournament. 

 

having Geduev at 79 and Bekbulatov, Ramonov and Kurbanaliev competing for a spot will make Russia a better team. Will be interesting if theyre all back in the mix plus Mahkov and maybe even Boltukaev. Budapest is going to be a lot of fun. 

 

I'd be interested in seeing those emails.  

 

One of the things I thought was interesting in the ICARUS documentary was that when the interviewer asked Rodchenkov how many of Russia's medalists were doping, he did not say all of them.  I can't recall the number, but I think it was around 40%.  Obviously if only a fraction of the medalists are doping, then a lot of non-medalists are clean as well.

 

If Russian wrestling is really decentralized for yearlong training, one would think that might apply to doping as well.

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Jaroslav,

 

When you say "they" you need to be more precise. Who are "they" exactly? Without concrete names this is pure speculation. Based on my experience, I believe foreigners often grossly overestimate the amount of "doping" or special programs going on in Russia and some Eastern European countries. In the sense that exactly the same if not better designed and centralized programs are going on in the USA, Germany, etc. 

 

As to wrestling specifically (and also judo, boxing, etc), as they follow completely different training programs in different regions, any doping would have to be specialized to that athlete (and often, coaches themselves disagree on what supplements, how to train, etc). My opinion is that Boltukaev was doping, pure speculation. But I also believe JB is doping (like Boltukaev, kind of looked off-cycle in the Olympics, eh?), but again pure speculation.  

 

I disagree with your reason 1) why some didn't wrestle. This was already discussed at length in interviews in the Russian media, why they picked that team. I don't think this is their best team. I think their main problem is not doping or team selection, but administrative and I predict this will be fixed very soon. I think if Sajidov is the coach of the Russian team, we will probably see rather different results.

 

btw, fun fact, note that Chamizo trains in Dagestan now and is coached by Gaidar Gaidarov.

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Jaroslav,

 

When you say "they" you need to be more precise. Who are "they" exactly? Without concrete names this is pure speculation. Based on my experience, I believe foreigners often grossly overestimate the amount of "doping" or special programs going on in Russia and some Eastern European countries. In the sense that exactly the same if not better designed and centralized programs are going on in the USA, Germany, etc. 

 

As to wrestling specifically (and also judo, boxing, etc), as they follow completely different training programs in different regions, any doping would have to be specialized to that athlete (and often, coaches themselves disagree on what supplements, how to train, etc). My opinion is that Boltukaev was doping, pure speculation. But I also believe JB is doping (like Boltukaev, kind of looked off-cycle in the Olympics, eh?), but again pure speculation.  

 

I disagree with your reason 1) why some didn't wrestle. This was already discussed at length in interviews in the Russian media, why they picked that team. I don't think this is their best team. I think their main problem is not doping or team selection, but administrative and I predict this will be fixed very soon. I think if Sajidov is the coach of the Russian team, we will probably see rather different results.

 

btw, fun fact, note that Chamizo trains in Dagestan now and is coached by Gaidar Gaidarov.

watch Icarus on Netflix and read the McLaren report online. I'm not speculating that Russia had a state sponsored doping program. that's a fact and its a fact that the wrestling team participated in it. 

 

I'm speculating that guys like Ramonov, Bekbulatov and Boltukaev didn't compete because RUSADA was suspended by WADA and WADA took over the testing. of course it could be a coincidence, hence its just speculation by me. 

 

you can speculate that Burroughs was doing but there is actual evidence that he gets tested by USADA which is actually credible. whereas RUSADA was actively helping Russian athletes dope. I'm not speculating that Russians are doping because of how a tournament or performance looks. We already know Russia ran a doping program and I'm speculating on who participated in it based on whether or not they avoiding competitions once they started actually getting tested for PEDs. 

 

by the way I'm not casting any moral judgements on the wrestlers for participating in a state sponsored doping program. I don't find anything immoral with taking PEDs, and if your coaches/admins are telling you to take them I'm not sure we can blame the athletes even. It's the coaches, admins and politicians who are the most responsible and reprehensible. For Americans to take PEDs its either carelessness or they actively seek to break rules, which to me worse than the Russian athletes merely acquiescing to coaches orders. 

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I believe that RUSADA would cover up doping of any national team wrestlers competing internationally. From what I've seen having been to the Caucasus and been around national level wrestlers, having a regimented doping program for all national team members would be impossible. It's too fractured and spread out. I believe a lot of Russian wrestlers dope through their own club/doctor but I don't think it is a top down order from the sports ministry.

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Russia today is not as totalitarian as the old USSR or East Germany.

I get that, but what happens then, the coach says, you can take this if you want? If it were a centrally administered PED program as you suggest, I don’t get why random guys would take them but not others.

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I think what manyak says is about right in my experience. Centralized system for this is out of the question. I believe the chance a top US wrestler dopes with high quality "supplements" and in a systematic and careful way is actually higher than a Russian wrestler. But the chance a Russian wrestler dopes with random stuff is higher. I would be shocked if a top Olympic wrestler from either Russia or the US has not at some point taken some things to recover.  Some take them occasionally to recover (most popular way), others to put on mass, many don't take them year around, etc.

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anybody with questions about how Russia administered a state sponsored doping program should 1) read the McLaren Report and 2) watch Icarus on Netflix. they lay it all out for you. there's no reason to guess or doubt how they did it.

 

Rodchenkov ran the Russian anti-doping lab. The FSB (former KGB) assisted in covering up the doping from WADA. Many Russian teams, including the greco and freestyle wrestling teams, used Rodchenkov's lab to dope (as did teams from other countries). The McLaren report redacted the individual names because the point was to expose how the system was state sponsored, not to punish the individual athletes. Please look up the facts if you have further questions. its all out there.

 

also this NY Times article is good place to start.  

 

One of the more interesting revelations from the Icarus documentary is when Rodchenkov said he was out of the doping game for a while but Russia couldn't find any scientists who could run their program as well and their athletes were getting 'dirty' PEDs, so Putin demanded they bring Rodchenkov back. 

 

evidence from the McLaren report that Moldovan athletes using the Russian lab to dope is in the tweet below

https://twitter.com/SpeyWrestle/status/807259400759083009

 

Evidence from the McLaren report that the Russian wrestling team was using the Russian lab to dope in the tweet below

https://twitter.com/SpeyWrestle/status/807618408258777089

Edited by Jaroslav Hasek

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Jaroslav,

 

The PDF link in the tweet is broken...also, the discussion / mails are in English, not Russian ?! What does it mean helped them dope, this is so undefined..who are these wrestlers, did they actually dope or were they prescribed stuff? There are so many questions.

 

And I wouldn't rely on a NY Times article about the state of affairs of Russian doping which is a competitor to US thus there is a direct conflict of interest and hence bias. A lot of whom they decide to 'catch' is political in nature. Are top U.S. athletes doping? Likely. Will they get caught, probably not, for many different reasons. I would actually say the U.S. or Iranian style of wrestling would benefit more from doping than Russians who compete less and rely more on technique. Is Yazdani a natural? hm, well...:) probably just like the other Yazdani who turned from 3rd placer to a world beater...

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Jaroslav,

 

The PDF link in the tweet is broken...also, the discussion / mails are in English, not Russian ?! What does it mean helped them dope, this is so undefined..who are these wrestlers, did they actually dope or were they prescribed stuff? There are so many questions.

 

And I wouldn't rely on a NY Times article about the state of affairs of Russian doping which is a competitor to US thus there is a direct conflict of interest and hence bias. A lot of whom they decide to 'catch' is political in nature. Are top U.S. athletes doping? Likely. Will they get caught, probably not, for many different reasons. I would actually say the U.S. or Iranian style of wrestling would benefit more from doping than Russians who compete less and rely more on technique. Is Yazdani a natural? hm, well...:) probably just like the other Yazdani who turned from 3rd placer to a world beater...

This is ridiculous. So you think The NY Times is trying to "catch" the Russians doping for political reasons?

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What is ridiculous? U.S. is a competitor to Russia for Olympic medals and a U.S. newspaper pushes a story on Russian doping. You can find similar accusations on Russia Today  and Russian newspapers talking about Victor Konte-like scenarios + various U.S. politics/sports/doping, how they conveniently lost the U.S. samples from the Rio Olympics, etc. 

 

Back to wrestling, my experience is that if doping goes on its irregular and specific to particular athletes. Government can coordinate to provide stuff but how and whether it gets used and by whom is another matter. 

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Jaroslav,

 

The PDF link in the tweet is broken...also, the discussion / mails are in English, not Russian ?! What does it mean helped them dope, this is so undefined..who are these wrestlers, did they actually dope or were they prescribed stuff? There are so many questions.

 

And I wouldn't rely on a NY Times article about the state of affairs of Russian doping which is a competitor to US thus there is a direct conflict of interest and hence bias. A lot of whom they decide to 'catch' is political in nature. Are top U.S. athletes doping? Likely. Will they get caught, probably not, for many different reasons. I would actually say the U.S. or Iranian style of wrestling would benefit more from doping than Russians who compete less and rely more on technique. Is Yazdani a natural? hm, well...:) probably just like the other Yazdani who turned from 3rd placer to a world beater...

wfan - I appreciate your help in translating articles and sharing all the great info coming from Russian websites but you are really grasping for straws here. Russia had a state sponsored doping program. The Russian wrestling team participated in it. this is not debatable. 

 

after becoming a whistle blower, Rodcheknov is now in hiding and fearing for his life. Nikita Kamaev, the head of RUSADAm never got the opportunity to run, and suspiciously died of a heart attack. 

 

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-35575774

 

by all means, speculate away on USA or Iranian doping. But please lets stop with the absurd denials about the Russian doping program. 

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What is ridiculous? U.S. is a competitor to Russia for Olympic medals and a U.S. newspaper pushes a story on Russian doping. You can find similar accusations on Russia Today  and Russian newspapers talking about Victor Konte-like scenarios + various U.S. politics/sports/doping, how they conveniently lost the U.S. samples from the Rio Olympics, etc. 

 

Back to wrestling, my experience is that if doping goes on its irregular and specific to particular athletes. Government can coordinate to provide stuff but how and whether it gets used and by whom is another matter. 

please 1) read the McLaren report and 2) watch the documentary Icarus on Netflix. until then these discussions are pointless. 

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Hey,

 

I am happy to read the report a 2nd time -- I've read it once before. I've not seen Icarus, thanks, I will take a look.

 

However, I do think you are lumping in too many things together. I absolutely believe that swimming, athletics, weightlifting and similar others have organized doping program, both in Russia and U.S. I don't believe that Russian wrestling (or say Judo teams, which are a lot closer to Putin's heart than wrestling) are all following a centralized doping program for the reasons manyak stated as well. That just makes no sense and there is no evidence of that either. And from what I've seen there is a *very* wide variance on this topic among combat-based athletes. Roughly, on average, I'd say there are cases that dope to recover occasionally, and there may be few extreme cases here and there (usually not the top athletes), but that is about it. 

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if you read the McLaren report than you know that the wrestling team is mentioned many times. They were part of the doping program. I'm sorry you don't want to believe it but it's true. Saying you read the report and still denying it now just makes you look foolish. 

 

I don't want to keep going in circles. It's quite clear to anyone living in reality so if you want to keep denying it you can continue that conversation with someone else. 

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Hey,

 

I am happy to read the report a 2nd time -- I've read it once before. I've not seen Icarus, thanks, I will take a look.

 

However, I do think you are lumping in too many things together. I absolutely believe that swimming, athletics, weightlifting and similar others have organized doping program, both in Russia and U.S. I don't believe that Russian wrestling (or say Judo teams, which are a lot closer to Putin's heart than wrestling) are all following a centralized doping program for the reasons manyak stated as well. That just makes no sense and there is no evidence of that either. And from what I've seen there is a *very* wide variance on this topic among combat-based athletes. Roughly, on average, I'd say there are cases that dope to recover occasionally, and there may be few extreme cases here and there (usually not the top athletes), but that is about it.

Didn't the Mclaren report indicate that 28 wrestlers falsified positive test results?

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Didn't the Mclaren report indicate that 28 wrestlers falsified positive test results?

yes something like if i remember correctly. 

 

 

I haven't read the McLaren report.  Did the report indicate that every national level Russian wrestler was on a doping program?

 

I doubt it, because Russia sent a wrestling team to the Olympics.

no, as I mentioned all the names were redacted. the point of the McLaren report was not to finger the athletes but to expose the state sponsored doping program.

 

RUSADA is supposed to be like USADA, Russia anti-doping watch dog. WADA doesn't have nearly enough money to run every countries anti doping efforts so they certify local agencies. however, because few countries have both the money and the cultural taboo against PEDs and cheating in international sporting events, most of these national level anti doping agencies are worse then useless, they actively help the athletes in those countries use PED and avoid detection. 

 

some sports teams used RUSADA and Rodchenkov's lab more than others, track & field and weightlifting I think were the most cited, but wrestling was definitely up there as one of the more active participants in the state sponsored doping program. there is even an anecdote where a WADA inspector spot checks the Russian Nationals (I think in 2013, don't remember exactly) where the RUSADA is supposedly running a WADA certified testing lab. but instead of following procedures the lab is wide open and wrestlers and coaches are going in and out at will. it's just one piece of evidence in literally hundreds of pages of it. 

 

anyway, nothing every happened because WADA is hopelessly underfunded and naive and the IOC and just about everyone else is either corrupt or doesn't have the energy or leverage to tackle the problem or just doesn't care. the silver lining to Rodchenkov being on the run for his life is at least Russia no longer has access to their "best" PED chemist. of course they can also spend money to train or hire someone else so I doubt it will be long before the operation is back up and running. 

 

like I said, it's all out there and published. please look it up everyone. just google it. 

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It doesn't sound like the report says that all of the wrestlers were doping.

 

Perhaps they are systematically doping all of the wrestlers on the national team, perhaps they are not.

 

As I said before, in the Icarus documentary Rodchenkov said around half of Russia's medalists were doping.  That means half were not.  Which half?

 

Obviously some wrestlers were doping.  Were all of them?  Is it system-wide or not?  From what you're saying, we don't know that right now.  Reading a report with all the names redacted won't tell us.

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quanon, I have similar concerns.

 

When one says "national level wrestlers" or "national team wrestlers" who are these? This term is *very* broadly construed. For instance, I've seen the term "national team athlete" used for a wrestler that has participated in any national level tournament or above. This would include literally 100's if not 1000's of wrestlers for Russia. 

 

Jaroslav, I think you may be missing the point. There is a big gap between:  'some national level wrestlers in Russia' may be doping vs. entire Olympic team was for sure doping consistently. You made a speculation like that for why some did not participate at the worlds. I will take a look at the report again; I read it a while ago, but I don't remember these terms being defined and it was quite vague. 

 

Speaking about Eastern Europe and parts of Russia, here are few issues I can tell you from talking to people in those circles:

 

- poorer countries / regions _do_ have trouble getting the latest 'chemicals'. This puts them at a disadvantage to richer western countries (e.g., some well funded sports in Russia, US, Japan, Germany, etc) which use designer drugs that are well masked. This is a known issue and some even talk about it publicly, e.g., the need for a doping lab especially for sports like athletics, weightlifting, swimming, etc. Then sometimes they end up getting caught for using the cheap stuff due to lack of $$$.

 

- generally speaking, athletes in judo, wrestling and boxing are much more poorly funded compared to some others. Doping there is much less widespread than say athletics, etc. The federations do have a lot less money and its hard to get anything 'systematically' going. Its totally fragmented across clubs, coaches, etc. Worse, athlete funding varies wildly depending on your results the previous year. Many Olympic level athletes (some in Rio this year who did well) have very low salaries and actually don't have good nutrition. 

 

- doping is individual and usually not very systematic at all. Actually the most serious ones when it comes to  say "nutrition help" :) go outside the country. The location is typically Germany where the system is more advanced.

 

Implying that doping plays a serious role in the success of Russian wrestling is I believe misleading. There are other reasons for their success and we are probably better spent discussing those. 

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It doesn't sound like the report says that all of the wrestlers were doping.

no it doesn't, obviously. no one ever said they were. 

 

I don't know how many times I have to say the athletes aren't fingered individually. 

 

I think you guys may be reading too much into "state sponsored". no one ever said or implied that the FSB was going door to door to all the wrestlers and forcing them to take PEDs on a regimented schedule. but it is clear that the wrestling team participated heavily in the state sponsored program. 

 

just read the friggin report, please. 

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Jaroslav, I think you may be missing the point. There is a big gap between:  'some national level wrestlers in Russia' may be doping vs. entire Olympic team was for sure doping consistently. You made a speculation like that for why some did not participate at the worlds. I will take a look at the report again; I read it a while ago, but I don't remember these terms being defined and it was quite vague. 

wfan - you are putting words in my mouth. I never said the entire Olympic team was doping regularly. please do not misrepresent my statements as I believe it is leading to confusion.

 

what I have been consistently stating because there is doubt about it is that wrestling team was participating in the doping program. the coaches owed thousands of dollars in fees for PEDs and covering them up. the team would not be spending money and Rodchenkov would not be taking the time to provide them if they weren't at least world class competitors. 

 

 

- poorer countries / regions _do_ have trouble getting the latest 'chemicals'. This puts them at a disadvantage to richer western countries (e.g., some well funded sports in Russia, US, Japan, Germany, etc) which use designer drugs that are well masked. This is a known issue and some even talk about it publicly, e.g., the need for a doping lab especially for sports like athletics, weightlifting, swimming, etc. Then sometimes they end up getting caught for using the cheap stuff due to lack of $$$.

yes this would be why it would behoove a country like Russia to set up a state sponsored doping program so they Olympic athletes from poorer regions would have access to the latest PEDs. This is precisely why Rodchenkov was brought back into the program. 

 

 

- doping is individual and usually not very systematic at all. Actually the most serious ones when it comes to  say "nutrition help" :) go outside the country. The location is typically Germany where the system is more advanced.

whatever the point of this is, it has no bearing on the fact that Russia sponsored a doping program for their Olympic athletes. you sound foolish in denying it. or, as I suspect at this point, you have always known it is true but are deliberately trying to obfuscate the issue because of national pride or some other motive.

 

 

Implying that doping plays a serious role in the success of Russian wrestling is I believe misleading. There are other reasons for their success and we are probably better spent discussing those. 

I have never implied this, and again, I would appreciate it if you would stop putting words in my mouth. it's really starting to get annoying. 

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