Rodchenkov: Gov't order to protect doped Russian footballers

Published 6:46 a.m. ET Feb. 17, 2018 | Updated 2:58 p.m. ET Feb. 17, 2018

Russian soccer players were protected from being caught doping under direct government orders that laboratory director Grigory Rodchenkov said he followed to ensure cheating was covered up as part of a far-reaching conspiracy.

Outlining his involvement in soccer for the first time to The Associated Press, Rodchenkov claimed an instruction to “avoid any scandal” came from then-sports minister Vitaly Mutko, who now serves as a deputy prime minister despite being involved in the doping scheme.

“Russian footballers were immune from doping-control actions or sanctions,” Rodchenkov said in response to questions through his lawyer from his hiding place in the United States.

Rodchenkov fled Russia two years ago to…

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