Russian doping: 'It's a badge of honour to find a way around the law' - journalist Elena Nikulicheva

'It's a badge of honour to find a way around the law', - Journalist Elena Nikulicheva on Russian doping

Russian athletes could find themselves excluded from Rio 2016

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

A Russian journalist has told talkRADIO that accusations of state-sponsored doping of the nation's athletes could be seen as merely holding up a mirror to daily life in a country where "people often have to break the rules to survive".

Russia may be facing a total ban from the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, after a report from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) alleged the country carried out a systematic, state-sponsored doping programme.

The International Olympic Committee is currently considering its decision.

But journalist Elena Nikulicheva, from Radio Baltika in St Petersburg, told Jonny Gould and Ash that a ban was unlikely to improve the situation.

"If Russia was banned from the Olympics I'm not sure it would change anything," she said.

"I like what a Ukrainian journalist wrote for the Financial Times. He said that in the Russian system, ordinary people often have to break the rules to survive. It's a badge of honour to find a way around the law.

"Nothing has changed since the original report was published in November 2015.

"If there are seven stages to dealing with a problem, we're still on denial or anger and not even close to admission.

"Nobody wants to admit [the doping], and all we can see is the defence saying we didn't do it. 

"We need to investigate once again."

Listen to the full interview above for a rundown of Elena's view from Russia