USA may abduct Russian athletes that pose serious competition in sports

The United States may try to abduct Russian athletes who could be a threat to the USA. When doing so, the US may resort to doping violations, Sergei Lavrov, Russian Foreign Minister said.

In an interview with RIA Novosti news agency, Lavrov said that Washington brings suspects hiding in other parts of the world to the territory of the United States.

"I do not exclude that similar methods could be used to punish athletes who were tested positive, and whom the Americans consider a threat to their interests in international competitions,” the minister suggested at a meeting with representatives of the sports community of the Sverdlovsk region.

Based on the Rodchenkov Act (anti-doping act, which was signed into law in the US), named after World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) whistleblower Grigory Rodchenkov, the United States can bring down criminal doping sentences at any event where US athletes participate.

The Minister pointed to the "monopoly" of the West in the fight against doping. According to Lavrov, Western countries have "privatized" the global anti-doping system. Almost three quarters of WADA governing body members come from NATO countries and their friendly states, such as Australia and Japan. At the same time, the population of the powers that actually control the fight against doping constitutes an absolute minority on the planet, which is "wrong", Sergei Lavrov said.

The rules should be fair and uniform for all states of the world, the Russian Foreign Minister believes.

Lavrov also remembered the joke about meldonium and mildronate drugs being no different from each other, except that meldonium is produced in Russia and is therefore banned.

Russia will continue to fight doping and discrimination against Russian athletes

Russia is ready to continue the fight against doping — including in the period before the ban on the use of the Russian national flag and anthem at international sports competition expires.

"We must continue the legal work that we do, we must continue to prove that we are absolutely not interested our athletes committing any doping violations by our athletes and we will continue to eradicate this practice, as soon as we notice specific facts,” the minister also said.

In December 2019, the WADA Executive Committee recognized the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) not complying with the World Anti-Doping Code. RUSADA did not agree with this decision, and the case was transferred to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which published its verdict on December 17, 2020. The court banned Russia from hosting world championships, Olympic and Paralympic Games. The court also banned Russian athletes from performing at major tournaments under the national flag; the use of the Russian national anthem was also prohibited. The ban expires in December 2022.

The Tokyo Olympics, the minister believes, has demonstrated that restrictions against Russian athletes in using symbolic signs were meaningless.

"I believe that the level of skills, the willpower that our athletes have demonstrated wearing ROC uniforms proves the pointlessness of any artificial restrictions for our athletes. We are ready to play by the rules," Sergei Lavrov said.

Russian Federation athletes performed at the Tokyo Olympics as the team of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC). Tchaikovsky's first symphony was used at awards ceremonies instead of the Russian national anthem. At the end of July, Russians took part in a flash mob in support the national team: they started spreading #wewillROCyou hashtag, channeling Queen's classic We Will Rock You. The national team won 71 medals and finished fifth in team scoring.