Sports News

Rodchenkov's expose on Russian doping scandal wins sports book award

(Reuters) - Grigory Rodchenkov, the former head of Russia’s national anti-doping laboratory, won the William Hill Sports Book of the Year award on Thursday for his tell-all account of the country’s state-sponsored doping scandal.

“The Rodchenkov Affair: How I Brought Down Putin’s Secret Doping Empire” outlines his account of how he helped Russian athletes who cheated by doping escape detection.

Rodchenkov later became a whistleblower and was featured in a 2017 Academy Award-winning documentary ‘Icarus’, providing testimony which ultimately led to the disqualification of Russian athletes and the country being banned from the Olympics.

“The Rodchenkov Affair was praised for its searing honesty and bravery,” Alyson Rudd, the chair of the judging panel said in a statement.

“He is a whistleblower like few others, and he remains a ‘ghost’ living in America, separated from his family, the price he pays for wanting ‘to be on the side of truth’.”

Last month the U.S. Senate passed the Rodchenkov Anti-Doping Act which gives U.S. justice officials the ability to pursue criminal penalties against anyone involved in doping at international events involving American athletes, sponsors or broadcasters.

Rodchenkov beat four other shortlisted authors to the prize and will receive 30,000 pounds ($40,233).

The other shortlisted books were:

* Born Fighter - Ruqsana Begum, Sarah Shephard

* The World Beneath Their Feet - Scott Ellsworth

* The Unforgiven - Ashley Gray

* The Breath of Sadness - Ian Ridley

Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis