Russian Olympic Committee President Alexander Zhukov has insisted home athletes did not use xenon gas products to boost their performance at Sochi 2014, following suggestions to the contrary.
May 28,2014(ISN) – In February, German broadcaster WDR claimed members of the Russian team at Sochi inhaled the gas and alleges top Russian athletes have been using xenon to improve performances as far back as the Olympics in Athens in 2004.
The Research Institute of the Russian Defence Ministry reportedly even set out guidelines in 2010 for the administration of xenon gas to athletes, while the Russian medical-xenon producer, Atom Medical Centre – which received national honours for its efforts preparing athletes for Athens 2004 and Turin 2006 – disputes the effect of the gas on the release of erythropoietin (EPO) in humans and the claim inhaling it constitutes doping.
During the Games the product was not outlawed, but earlier this month both xenon and argon gases were added to a list of banned substances by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), after a study found they artificially boosted performances.
Although there would be no risk of retrospective sanctions even if proof was found, because the product was not banned at the time, Zhukov, appointed an International Olympic Committee member last September, has strongly denied the allegations.
“We did not use these technologies during the preparations of Russian athletes for Sochi”, he told Ria Novosti.