Open Letter from John Leonard, Executive Director for the World Swim Coaches Association and the American Swim Coaches Association about the Russia Doping Scandal
Feb. 10, 2014
Dear Cornel Marculescu,
I trust this note finds you well. I have a couple of questions for you, please
I would ASK if you have seen the video from the German television program “Doping Scandal in Russia-2014”? If not, you can find it on YouTube under that title. There are four parts, each more disturbing than the one before. In the 2nd part of 4, at the 4:02 mark of the program, it is stated that “Swimming Coaches are Present in the office of the lead doping office of the Russian Doping leader”.
At 8:48 in the video, It is stated that “SWIMMING ATHLETES ARE NOT BEING TESTED” and that only insignificant athletes are tested positive, while the stars and those who are young and promising, are simply noted as “mistakes” in the testing, and not punished for doping.
Later, at 11:42 in the video, a document signed by Vladimir Putin is shown, which says that no doping samples may cross the Russian border in either direction and will be opened at the Border. (Thus negating the samples for all time.)
When taken as a whole, the program completely and thoroughly discredits RUSADA, the Russian Anti-Doping agency. Nothing that they do can ever be considered correct and proper and honest again. They are clearly complicit in the doping of Russian athletes as an industry providing bribes to RUSADA individuals.
HOW THEN, CAN THE FINA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS IN RUSSIA THIS SUMMER, BE A LEGITIMATE COMPETITION? I know FINA is dedicated to anti-doping and there must be a plan that you have to make sure doping sample analysis can be carried out honestly and openly. But if SAMPLES CANNOT BE SENT OUT OF THE COUNTRY per Mr. Putin, and RUSADA is corrupt and entirely discredited, how will FINA assure clean athletes that this will not be the most doped World Championships in History?
It appears to myself and many others, that the legitimacy of the FINA World Championships this summer is at great risk.
I would ask you to inform the world what is being done to make sure we have the cleanest possible competition? Right now, we appear to be without hope. Please inform everyone what the plan is for a clean competition with proper testing of samples.
Respectfully, John Leonard
American Swimming Coaches Association Executive Director
World Swimming Coaches Association Executive Director.
Response from Cornel Marculescu
Follow-up Response From John Leonard
Dear Cornel – Thank you for your correspondence. I have apparently failed to make my point….I apologize. Let me try again.
I have no doubt that FINA enjoys excellent relationships with RUSADA.
I refer you to the German documentary, which is done by a very reputable television journalist that enjoys the full confidence of Attorney Rich Young with whom you are very familiar. That documentary is fully damning of RUSADA, their independence and veracity in doping issues. This calls into serious question the ability of FINA to effectively address anti-doping. IDTM may be reporting one thing, but the German documentary is SHOWING a document signed by Mr. Putin that eliminates shipping of doping samples in or out of Russia.
Perhaps we need to get a WADA view of RUSADA and its laboratory at this point. I will be happy to seek that from Mr. Howman.
Thank you for your response. I think we have more work to be done on this. A lot more.
Final Response from Cornel Marculescu FINA