IOC no help to whistleblower

The International Olympic Committee has been accused of cowardice by Jim Walden, the lawyer of whistleblower Grigory Rodchenkov.

Dr Rodchenkov fled Russia and spilled the proverbial beans about his involvement in the state-sponsored doping system put in place at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games.

His testimony lead to Russia’s subsequent ban from the upcoming Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. 

Dr Rodchenkov’s location in the United States has been kept secret and Russia has been lobbying for extradition.

"If they succeeded, Dr Rodchenkov would face death and torture at their hands," Walden told BBC Sport.

Walden has approached the IOC, but revealed the organisation is not interested in helping Dr Rodchenkov.

"Unfortunately, the IOC – who relied so prominently on Dr Rodchenkov's testimony in banning Russia from the Olympics – refuses to lift a finger to help him,” he added.

"The IOC must act. I asked to meet with its officials… I made suggestions on how the IOC could end this campaign against Dr Rodchenkov, by requiring that Russia cease its retaliation… I was told – point blank – that the IOC would take no action against Russia for retaliating against Dr Rodchenkov."

Walden, who has been protecting Dr Rodchenckov, revealed that his client has been cooperating with authorities but the IOC’s stance on the situation may deter other whistleblowers in the future. 

"My job is, among other things, to ensure Dr Rodchenkov's safety at all costs,” he continued. 

“Although he is a courageous man and fully committed to cooperation, as his lawyer I have to consider whether he should continue to compromise his own safety in order to provide evidence to the IOC.

"One thing is certain – if the IOC's inaction is what whistleblowers can expect, no whistleblower should ever again come forward with information about fraud in the Olympics. Had I known of the IOC's cowardice, I might have urged a different path."

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