This post is a preview of a newly published book I’m currently reading and want to share with you.
The Rodchenkov Affair: How I Brought Down Russia’s Secret Doping Empire by Grigory Rodchenkov
It was one of those times when Amazon hit me up with something I actually wanted to read and not based on something I bought as a present for my sister in law years ago. It was The Rodchenkov Affair. I downloaded the sample on my Kindle, read it and purchased the book. Something I rarely do.
The book is a memoir of Grigory Rodchenkov who was head of Russia’s Anti-Doping Centre (an oxymoron) and oversaw the state-sponsored doping programme over several Olympics including at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. I’ve yet to see the Oscar-winning documentary, Icarus, which covers some of the same ground, in which Rodchenkov was the main protagonists documenting the early fall out of the Russian doping scandal in 2016.
The book has only been out a few days (released 30th July 2020) and I’m currently a third of the way through and enjoying it and feeling disillusioned in equal measure. I’m not so naïve that all sport is clean of drugs or corruption. There are far too much money, prestige and vested interests going around for that. I do hope that some of the feats I see in stadiums and on roads have some basis in truth and when athletes say they are clean, they’re being faithful. The book knocks the view that athletics is a clean sport, or at least in not in the Soviet Union/Russia and the former Eastern Block, as well as many other countries.
I’ll write a full review upon finishing the book, though I hope it will damage my love of sport, particularly track and field and running. It would take a lot. I’ve read nearly every cycling book going and still love watching the sport,and do believe it has turned a corner in regards to doping.
Based on what I’ve read so far, I would recommend it to anyone interested in track and field or drugs in sport. It’s an easy read and rattles through the murky world, giving away secrets of how the dopers stayed ahead on the labs.
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