By Vladimir Popov (Former Soviet State Security Lieutenant Colonel)
June 24, 2020 Anno Domini
Translated from the Russian
Special services and doping
At the end of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, scandals erupted in connection with the accusation of Russian athletes in the use of various doping agents. The result of these scandals was the revocation of the accreditation of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) and the removal of Russian athletes from a number of international competitions. In addition to this, international sports organizations have decided to prevent Russian Paralympians from participating in the 2016 Paralympics in Brazil and 2018 in South Korea. Former sports minister Vitaly Mutko, who was promoted to the level of deputy prime minister of the Russian government in the wake of these scandals, had to respond to these accusations, which he did with ease, calling them deliberately false.
Vitaly Mutko was compelled to echo the honorary (and before that – the current) vice-president of the International Olympic Committee and the head of the Soviet National Olympic Committee Vitaly Smirnov, who stated that neither in the USSR nor in modern Russia there was and could not be a state program on the use of doping in sports. In fact, all these statements were outright lies, which both Mutko and Smirnov were well aware of.
Smirnov, before being elected to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in the early 1970s, served as Deputy Chairman of the USSR State Sports Committee. In 1978, he was recruited as an agent by the deputy head of the 5th KGB Directorate, Major General Ivan Pavlovich Abramov.
It was problematic to achieve high results in sports without doping. Here is the opinion of an authoritative person in the field of sports medicine, the former director of the Moscow Scientific and Practical Center for Sports Medicine (MNPTSSM), currently the chief specialist in sports medicine of the Moscow Department of Health, Doctor of Medical Sciences, Honored Doctor of Russia Zurab Givievich Ordzhonikidze:
“An average person spends about 2000 kilocalories a day to maintain life. An athlete is about six times more. This is enough to heat 12 tons of water at a temperature of 18 degrees Celsius by one degree. And this is a very serious task. Now – another frightening figure. The systolic (“upper”) pressure of a weightlifter at the moment of lifting the bar is approaching 380! And this is not the limit: it reached 450. And even if divided by three – already obvious hypertension! Therefore, of course, pharmacological support is needed. “
Article 48 of the Olympic Charter is the medical code of the International Olympic Committee. It clearly spelled out the prohibition of the use of doping in sports. In addition, it notes that “doping is contrary to both medical ethics and medical science. The concept of doping is as follows: the use of substances belonging to prohibited classes of pharmacological drugs, and / or the use of various prohibited methods.”
German scientist, sports historian, Dr. Giselher Spitzer (Giselher Spitzer) in 2003 published a detailed study of the long-term use of various doping by athletes in the GDR in order to obtain high results. Spitzer’s work is called Doping in DDR. Using a large amount of factual material, including on the basis of declassified documents of the Ministry of State Security of the GDR, better known as the Stasi, the book described the state system for the introduction of various doping. In addition to medical institutions, intelligence of the GDR was involved in this system, secretly obtaining the corresponding drugs in Germany and other states.
At the same time, the leading medical specialists of the GDR, who developed programs for the use of doping agents in sports, were agents of the Stasi, that is, they were recruited by the Stasi for the purpose of total control over the development of these programs and their use in practice.
The study Doping in the GDR cites a report by Dr. Rudolf Müller entitled Proposal for the Organization of Medical Support for Leading Athletes and Olympic Team Candidates with West German Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Müller was simultaneously a Stasi agent under the pseudonym Ernst Lahe and from 1964 to 1969 he served as deputy chief physician of the sports medical service of the GDR. Also in the study, Dr. Spitzer mentions sports doctor Dr. Kipke (Stasi agent under the pseudonym “ Rolf ”) and sports officer Hans Gürtler. It was the tip of the iceberg, which opened only after the unification of the two Germany.
In 2000, the Berlin Criminal Court began to consider a criminal case against the former president of the German Sports Union of the GDR Manfred Ewald and his associate Manfred Heppner, who since 1974 led the special medical group “Sports Support”. Ewald was secretary of the German sports committee from 1948 to 1952, and from 1952 to 1960 – chairman of the State Committee for Physical Culture and Sports under the Council of Ministers of the GDR. For outstanding services to the fatherland, he was awarded the highest state award of the GDR – the Order of Karl Marx, to which an award of 20 thousand marks was attached.
From 1963 to 1988, Ewald led the East German sports movement. During this time, athletes from the GDR won 197 gold, 178 silver and 167 bronze medals at the Olympic Games. This was an unprecedented world achievement. The key to success was the training program for athletes in the GDR, which was a state secret. Therefore, during the existence of the GDR, sports functionaries and journalists of this country explained the high results by a special system for selecting talented children, a special system of education and training, demonstrating the advantages of socialism over capitalism.
In reality, the point was the massive use of doping agents not only in high-performance sports, but also in children’s sports schools. At the same time, no one was concerned about the study of the possible negative consequences of doping. No one informed either children or their parents about the use of doping in the process of sports training. Things were exactly the same in the Soviet Union. The goal, as in the GDR, was to promote the advantages of the socialist system over the capitalist one.
On April 23, 1951, the National Olympic Committee (NOC) was created in the USSR, which on May 7 of the same year at the 46th session of the International Olympic Committee was admitted to the membership of this international organization. The next year, 1952, Soviet athletes took part for the first time in the Summer Olympic Games, which were held in the capital of Finland, Helsinki. Despite the fact that it was a debut for the USSR national team, the team took second place in the number of medals won.
In the preparation of Soviet athletes for international competitions, anabolic steroids were actively used already in those years, which sharply increase the psychophysical indicators of athletes and determine high results in sports competitions. So the practice of using various doping agents was widely used in Soviet sports, but everything that was connected with this was classified as “secret.”
As part of the USSR Sports Committee (reorganized into the USSR State Committee for Sports in 1977), there was a department of medical and biological support for the USSR national teams in various sports. The employees of this department were sports doctors assigned to the respective national teams, whose functions were not limited to medical monitoring of the health status of athletes during the training process and competitions. In accordance with the instructions of the leadership of specific departments of the sports department, together with the coaches of the USSR national teams, the doctors attached to them carried out a wide program of pharmacological support for athletes. Basically, in this case, various groups of doping agents were used.
For each individual national team and individual athletes in individual sports, the department of medical and biological support of the USSR national teams developed a program for the use of doping agents and a method of concealing their use to avoid exposure during control during international competitions. Such programs were drawn up by sports departments together with the medical and biological department and approved by the deputy heads of the sports department in charge of the respective sports. All documentation was classified as “secret” and was kept in the first (security) department of the USSR Sports Committee.
Traditionally, sports doctors and masseurs of national teams were recruited by the KGB of the USSR to monitor the behavior of athletes during training camps and competitions held abroad, as well as to identify contacts with foreign athletes on the territory of the USSR. By the 1980 Moscow Olympics, all the doctors and masseurs of the combined teams of the Soviet Union were recruited by employees of the 11th department of the 5th department of the KGB of the USSR and the officers of the territorial state security bodies assigned to this unit. The author of these lines was during the described period the head of a group of officers who promptly supervised the USSR national teams in various sports and can responsibly declare that there is no exaggeration in the statement “all doctors and masseurs … were recruited”.
Here is what the leading researcher of the Scientific Research Institute of Sports of the Russian State University of Physical Culture, Sports, Youth and Tourism, Sergei Konstantinovich Sarsania, told about the practice of using doping drugs. Although it should be noted that it somewhat simplifies the practice of using doping drugs in the national teams of the USSR, believing that this happened on the initiative of the doctors of these teams. In reality, however, doctors were only executors of the prescriptions issued by the leaders of sports in the USSR.
“I tested this tendency at Dynamo. I say to Yurzinov (head coach of the Dynamo hockey team and second coach of the USSR national hockey team in the 1970-1980s. – Popov):“ Volodya, we have a series of six games. With CSKA Moscow, “Wings of the Soviets”, “Chemist” and others. Games in a row go, in two days, for the third. Let’s put the players on Nerobol at maintenance dosages. And they will have time to recover, and they will play meaner. But there are two options. Or tell the players what you are giving, explaining that the doses are absolutely harmless. If you want, I can tell. And the second option: you give it blindly, without knowing what kind of pills they are. “He says:” I cannot make such a decision. I have to ask the chairman of the central council of Dynamo. As if [Viktor] Tikhonov asked [Dmitry] Yazov if it was possible to give anabolic steroids to his own people. And I knew what they were giving. The team doctor, a former ski doctor (Boris Sapronenkov, who is also a state security agent Dedov – Popov), told me himself: “I mix it in a cocktail and give them a drink.”
From an interview by Sergei Sarsania to the author of the magazine “Iron World” Andrei Antonov. 2003 year
And this is how he talked about doping control:
“He was not in hockey then. And now they close their eyes. We held the World Championship in Moscow in 1978. Three weeks before the World Championship, we tested the USSR national team. Our coaches love to torture, but not create. I conduct biochemical blood control. The team is tortured. Two days later I was summoned to a closed meeting. The head of the football and hockey department Koloskov (state security agent Yantar – Popov), the head of the hockey department at our institute Korolev, our head of the biochemistry department Volkov, the senior coach of the national team Tikhonov is present. Koloskov asks me : “What to do?” I say: “The team is dead. The only thing that can save is anabolic steroids. The dosage is known to me. They will drink for 10 days, and everything will be fine. The only problem is doping control. But the world championship is in Moscow. “Koloskov says:” I take on this problem. ” nothing”.
From an interview by Sergei Sarsania to the author of the magazine “Iron World” Andrei Antonov. 2003 year
For the Olympics-80 in Moscow, an anti-doping center was created, equipped with the most modern equipment at that time and meeting high international standards. However, not a single case of the use of doping drugs by athletes from countries participating in the Olympic Games has been identified. What was the matter: the non-professional staff working in the anti-doping center, or the poor quality equipment of the center? Both the staff and the equipment were fine. It was about politics.
The Olympic Games, first held in a socialist country, were supposed to demonstrate to the whole world the alleged superiority of the socialist system over the capitalist one. The Central Committee of the CPSU took unprecedented measures to ensure victory at any cost. In accordance with secret resolutions of the Politburo of the CPSU Central Committee, all government departments were obliged to provide all-round assistance to the USSR State Sports Committee in achieving this goal. So, for example, at the request of the leadership of the sports department, the Council of Ministers of the USSR by a secret resolution allocated significant foreign exchange funds for the so-called work with foreign judges or, simply put, for their bribery.
The KGB of the USSR also did not stand aside, which, in addition to the main task of ensuring security during the preparation and holding of the 1980 Olympics, was entrusted with the obligation to provide full assistance to the Soviet national team participating in the Games in achieving a convincing victory in the competition. To this end, the KGB agents from among Soviet judges with an international category and accredited to referee the Games of the Olympics in Moscow, as well as translators who worked with foreign judges, participants in competitions and foreign representatives of various services of the 1980 Olympics, were aimed at processing them in a profitable way for the Soviet Union. plan. Expensive gifts and foreign currency were used. The funds were spent from the budget of the KGB of the USSR and were registered under Article 9, which was used to encourage agents.
The leadership of the International Olympic Committee and the international federations accredited at the Moscow Olympics were under constant intelligence control, in addition to round-the-clock auditory control of their working and recreation areas.
In addition, two officers of the KGB of the USSR who had Olympic accreditation were introduced to the staff of the Moscow Anti-Doping Center. They were the senior operative of the 1st department of the 1st department of the 5th directorate of the KGB of the USSR, Major Boris Nikolayevich Pakin and his colleague, an employee of the same unit, operative captain Yevgeny Ivanovich Vorobyov. Both of them were representatives of the unit in charge of the USSR Ministry of Health and the country’s leading medical institutions. Since the accreditation department of the organizing committee of the 1980 Olympics consisted of more than 90% of state security officers working undercover, there were no problems with Olympic accreditation for the officers of the USSR KGB and their agents involved in servicing the games.
The task of the state security officers Pakin and Vorobyov, introduced into the anti-doping center, was to prevent the detection of the facts of the use of doping drugs by Soviet athletes. They were informed in advance about which samples needed to be replaced, and replaced them with their own urine or with the urine of their colleagues, who were invited to taste the scarce foreign beer that was available in abundance at the anti-doping center. Colleagues were not privy to the details of this operation, and the need for excrement in special containers was explained by strict accountability for the use of beer.
The results of the activities of Pakin and Vorobyov can be called impressive: not a single fact of the use of doping drugs by Soviet athletes was revealed. However, as well as foreign. This was done deliberately so as not to provoke reproaches from the heads of foreign sports delegations who participated in the Moscow Olympics, since if such facts were revealed in relation to foreign athletes, they could rightly be indignant, since they knew that athletes from many countries had sinned by using doping. And so – all have excellent indicators, especially since only those countries participated in the Olympiad that refused to boycott it because of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
Soviet athletes won 80 gold, 69 silver and 46 bronze medals that year. The second result, of course, was with the athletes of the GDR: 47 gold, 16 silver and 42 bronze medals.
The leaders of the Soviet state during its decline were generous with awards. All those who were direct participants in the 1980 Olympics were rewarded in various ways, including government awards. Major of State Security Pakin, who substituted urine samples at the Moscow Anti-Doping Center, was awarded the Order of the Red Star at the suggestion of his long-term friend, Deputy Head of the 11th Department of the 5th Directorate of the KGB of the USSR, Lieutenant Colonel Igor Perfiliev. According to their status, orders were awarded for bravery and heroism displayed during hostilities, and not for urine analysis in peacetime.
During the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, the Russian special services used the experience of Soviet colleagues and introduced an FSB officer into the anti-doping center, who was doing the same thing as his predecessor Pakin – he replaced the samples of Russian athletes that had traces of doping use, replacing them with clean ones. Thanks to these manipulations, just four years after the disastrous Winter Olympics for Russian athletes in Vancouver, Canada, at the regular Games in Sochi, the Russians achieved an impressive victory, taking first place in the team competition with 13 gold, 11 silver and nine bronze medals.
The statements of the leaders of Russian sports, echoed by the president of the country, about the absence in Russia of a state program for the use of doping drugs in sports, are nothing more than a lie, erected into state policy. On December 23, 2016, during his regular press conference, answering a question from a reporter of the Sovetsky Sport newspaper about the political component of claims against Russia by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), Putin said that “there is no state support for doping in Russia, and there are problems with doping in all countries. ”
According to Putin, the WADA investigation relied on the testimony of “informers who fled abroad.” “Now I don’t remember the name of this citizen, who ran away and who headed our Russian anti-doping agency,” Putin continued. “He was where he worked before? In Canada! to a high position, dragged here all sorts of nasty things. ” At the same time, Putin did not specify what kind of “muck” was “dragged” from Canada by Grigory Rodchenkov, who then fled from Russia (whose name Putin at that moment, they say, forgot, although he showed knowledge of various aspects of his biography).
In an interview with foreign media, Rodchenkov admitted that he was an agent of the FSB of Russia (which should not surprise us). Without a doubt, it was this department that prepared the certificate for Putin, where everything was set out in sufficient detail. So, Putin perfectly remembered the name of Rodchenkov.
Grigory Rodchenkov was born in 1958 in Moscow. In 1982 he graduated from the Faculty of Chemistry of the Lomonosov Moscow State University with a degree in chemical kinetics and catalysis. In 1985 he was hired by the Moscow Anti-Doping Center (ADC). In 2005, he became acting director of the Federal State Unitary Enterprise (FSUE) Anti-Doping Center, and from July 6, 2006 to November 11, 2015, he served as director of the FSUE Anti-Doping Center. After being forced to flee Russia in January 2016, finding himself in the United States, Rodchenkov admitted in one of his interviews that, as soon as he was appointed head of the Moscow ADC, he was recruited by Russian counterintelligence under the pseudonym Katz.
Soviet and Russian special services constantly monitored the use of doping agents in elite sports, since it was and remains a secret state program, and secrets must be protected from prying eyes.
” Our laboratory (as he calls the anti-doping center in Moscow – Popov) has collaborated with many similar foreign centers. In particular, there were close contacts with the laboratory of the GDR. Then the Soviet-American program started with scientists from Los Angeles. In  in the 90th year he defended his thesis. And soon after the departure of Uralts (the former head of the Moscow ADC – Popov) to the USA, I also left the Moscow laboratory, having worked in it for nine years. There was an idea to work in the USA. But wherever I was invited, I did not want, and where I wanted, they did not take me. But they hired the American firm Hewlett-Packard, which was the largest manufacturer of analytical equipment, to the Moscow office. Their devices were in all anti-doping centers in the world. But the 1998 banking crisis broke out. I went to Canada, where I worked for a year at an anti-doping center in Calgary. ”
From an interview with Grigory Rodchenkov for the moscowuniversityclub.com website, May 25, 2005
All this time, Rodchenkov was in the status of an agent of the FSB of Russia and therefore, in addition to his official activities, he obtained information in the interests of this department. In 2013, the Moscow ADC attracted public attention: the sister of the ADC head Grigory Rodchenkov, three-time world running champion Marina Rodchenkova, was found guilty under the article “illegal circulation of potent or poisonous substances for marketing purposes.” The court of first instance sentenced Rodchenkova to one and a half years in prison, but after the appeal, the term was replaced with a suspended sentence.
In December 2013, WADA recommended that the Moscow ADC be deprived of its accreditation “due to insufficient reliability.” On November 10, 2015, by a decision of WADA, the work of the Moscow Anti-Doping Laboratory was temporarily suspended, and Rodchenkov resigned from his post as head of the laboratory. The resignation was accepted by the Ministry of Sports of the Russian Federation, and on November 25 of the same year, Rodchenkov was temporarily removed from his post in the medical committee of the International Ski Federation. In the same month, WADA reported that the head of the Moscow anti-doping laboratory, Grigory Rodchenkov, destroyed 1,417 doping samples three days before the test.
In January 2016, Grigory Rodchenkov left Russia and went to the United States, where in May 2016 he made a sensational statement to The New York Times that it was he who helped Russia win the team event of the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi by developing an unprecedented doping scheme to achieve victorious results.
All published parts of Vladimir Popov’s book “The Conspiracy of Scoundrels. Notes of the Former KGB Lieutenant Colonel” can be found here.