Herman Ram of the Dutch Doping Authority is very worried about his former Russian colleague Yuri Nanny. He was fired last week as head of the Russian anti-doping authority Rusada. Officially because of financial malpractice, but Ram thinks there’s more going on.
“I can’t judge whether the accusations of financial mismanagement are justified or unjustified, but you can sense that this is also a political decision. It seems to me that Russia is now being thrown back a long way in the fight against doping.”
When it comes to the fate of Aries himself, Aries is cautious. “He’s sent an e-mail to all his international peers with his private details. And he’s told me himself he’s not suicidal. You understand why he’s taking precautions.”
Yuri Kanus was appointed to lead Rusada three years ago. He was internationally known as someone who seriously tried to fight doping in Russia and clearly admitted that Russia had a doping culture. Many international doping experts called Nanoux a brave man, especially in the knowledge of how his predecessors had fared.
When it became clear in 2015 that Russian athletes had been able to use banned substances for years thanks to a state-established doping network, whistleblower Grigori Rodchenkov fled to the US. Rodchenkov, former head of the Russian anti-doping laboratory and one of the creators of the state-established doping network, is still protected.
Two former directors of Rusada, Nikita Kamaev and Vyacheslav Sinev, died under suspicious circumstances.
Ganoes gave an interview to the CCeit in 2019. In it he said he didn’t want to be led by fear. “I know there have been two deaths. But this is my mission. This is not a normal job. We urgently need to move away from the old rotten system.”
In December of that year, Russia was excluded from international competitions for four years after evidence was found that the country had been tampering with computer data from the doping lab. An offense that was confirmed by Nanny, although he said he did not know who was responsible for deleting and changing the data.
After his resignation last week, Nanny immediately indicated that he was innocent and that he had been the victim of a deliberate provocation.
A month before his resignation – the investigation into his actions had already begun – he posted a striking tweet in which he declared that he loved life and would never commit suicide.
After his resignation, the umbrella body of the international doping authorities iNADO and the World Anti-Doping Agency WADA expressed their concerns about the fate of Nanny. They also expressed their concern about the independence of the fight against doping in Russia.
According to Ram, the WADA is now on. “In any case, the man designated by the Russian Olympic Committee as a provisional replacement for Ganese is not known in the international anti-doping world.”
“WADA has so far kept Rusada out of sanctions against Russia because the Anti-Doping Authority headed by Nanny functioned well. I imagine they’re reconsidering that now. But I also understand that they want to operate cautiously in this matter.”