The "mastermind" behind the Russian doping program revealed that he was "able to corrupt the London 2012 Olympics only because he was invited to Britain by organisers and shown how they planned to catch cheats," according to Sean Ingle of the London GUARDIAN. Grigory Rodchenkov, who ran the Moscow anti-doping laboratory from '05-15, admitted that "without this knowledge the Russian doping situation would have 'collapsed' long before he fled the country two years ago." In the documentary "Icarus," Rodchenkov said, "You can imagine how important the information from the London laboratory is for the Russian national team. I had information of what this laboratory was doing to understand where we are -- and how much is danger." The documentary will be available on Netflix next month. It details how Rodchenkov was "able to dope Russian athletes and corrupt the anti-doping system" -- more comprehensively in the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics -- and how he "fled Moscow because he feared for his life and turned whistleblower." He is now in the FBI witness protection program. Rodchenkov also suggested that he believes that former Russian Anti-Doping Agency Head Nikita Kamaev "was murdered by the Russian authorities because he was planning to write a book about what he knew." Kamaev died last year of a massive heart attack, aged 52. Rodchenkov said, "He is my friend from school time and he never complained about his heart or any health problems. ... It's dangerous to write a book in Russia" (GUARDIAN, 7/15).
LOSING SCHOLARSHIPS: XINHUA reported Russian athletes, coaches and other sports specialists in breach of anti-doping rules "will lose their presidential scholarships," according to a decree published on the Kremlin's website on Saturday. The decree, signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin, stipulates that any athlete, coach or specialist in the field of physical culture and sports, including Olympic, Paralympic or Deaflympic champions, once found to have violated the anti-doping rules, will be subject to appropriate sanctions, such as being "deprived of the right to receive a scholarship from the President of the Russian Federation" (XINHUA, 7/15).