Head of International Olympic Committee says Russia trying to spy on him

Russian Federation authorities tried to spy on the Disciplinary Commission of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) while it was investigating the systematic use of doping by Russian athletes, the Chair of the IOC Disciplinary Commission, Samuel Schmid, said in an interview with Aargauer Zeitung newspaper on Saturday, December 9th, DW reports.

“But before we get to work we have taken precautionary measures,” the former head of the Department of Defense and former President of the Swiss Confederation said. In particular, Mr. Schmid said that members of the commission worked on the computers that were not connected to the Internet, did not bring electronic devices to the meetings, rolled down window blinds, and regularly inspected the premises for bugs and malware, because “we did not want to fall victim to our own naiveté,” Schmid said.

The IOC Disciplinary Commission’s Chair further recalled that during a conference of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) while members of the IOC delegation were staying in a hotel, Russian special services agents also checked in to the same hotel. “It was then that we realized that we were being targeted,” Schmid said.

Findings presented in a report of the commission chaired by Samuel Schmid played an important role in the IOC’s decision to ban Russia’s Olympic Team from attending the upcoming Winter Games in South Korea. On December 5th, IOC President Thomas Bach said Russian athletes would be able to compete in the games only under a neutral flag and on “certain conditions.”

The IOC in its official statement confirmed that the reports about “systematic manipulating of the anti-doping rules and the anti-doping system in Russia” had been proven true. The IOC’s head called the practice of use of doping in Russia “an unprecedented attack on the integrity of the Olympic Games” and imposed weighted sanctions to punish the systematic manipulations. “This should draw a line under this damaging episode and serve as a catalyst for a more effective anti-doping system led by WADA,” Thomas Bach said.   

The International Olympic Committee made its decision based on findings of two commissions that investigated the alleged state-backed use of doping in Russia. The commission chaired by Swiss lawyer Denis Oswald investigated the substitution of samples of doping tests run by Russian athletes at the Olympic Games in Sochi (the Russian Federation). The commission led by Samuel Schmid investigated the role of Russian authorities in the manipulations of doping tests.

  International Olympic Committee, Russia, Doping