Is doping mastermind Portugalov possibly still working with athletes in Russia?

Sergej Portugalov


Is doping mastermind Portugalov possibly still working with athletes in Russia?

Von Hajo Seppelt

Physician Sergey Portugalov, recently banned for life by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) for participating in Russia's doping system, might still be working with top athletes in Russia. Officials deny, but according to russian internet sources inconsistencies remain.

On the website of a specialised medical center in Moscow with clients from top sports Portugalov's name appeared until last week. According to its website, the medical institution in the capital of Russia collaborates with Dynamo Moscow, Russia's top team in ice-hockey. This cooperation is promoted on the website, with special emphasis on a department for consulting players. As stated on the clinic's website until 13 March 2017, "the department is run by one of the best renowned specialists in sports medicine, Professor Sergey Portugalov".

On 13 March, participants of a World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) meeting in Lausanne became aware of Portugalov's appearance on the clinic's website. Shortly afterwards, his name was erased from the website without any explanation. Upon request by ARD German TV this week, a clinic's spokesperson claimed that the physician allegedly had never worked for the clinic, despite of the reference to Portugalov on the website. 

Working with athletes - despite ban by WADA?

Further investigations indicate that Portugalov was continuously employed by another organisation, a federal sports scientific institute - after his alleged participation in Russia's doping system had been revealed. According to a reference on the institute's website he held a high-level position reporting to the general manager, presumably until 2016. The institute is also based in Moscow.

Prior to his lifetime ban, Portugalov had already been provisionally suspended. Hence, according to the WADA code he was not allowed to work with athletes anymore, no matter what function he would execute.

One of medical masterminds in Russia's doping system

The Russian physician is regarded as one of the medical masterminds in Russia’s doping system. In the ARD documentary "Doping top secret: How Russia makes its winners", broadcasted in December 2014, whistleblowers Vitaliy and Yuliya Stepanov presented evidence - audio files, video footage and written documents - of Portugalov's involvement. This evidence resulted in the lifetime ban of the physician by CAS.

Stand: 22.03.2017, 10:46