Grigory Rodchenkov has claimed Russia should be banned from Tokyo 2020 ©Getty Images

Former Moscow Laboratory head Grigory Rodchenkov has said Russia should be handed a blanket ban from the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, after claiming the country has learned "absolutely nothing" from its long-running doping scandal.

Rodchenkov made the comment to the BBC ahead of the release of his autobiography, The Rodchenkov Affair – How I Brought Down Putin's Secret Doping Empire, on Thursday (July 30).

Rodchenkov fled to the United States in 2015 and turned whistleblower.

He provided much of the evidence against Russian athletes who were accused of doping at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, including outlining the sample-swapping method where they were able to open and reseal tamper-proof bottles to allow positive urine samples to be swapped for clean ones.

Rodchenkov has called for Russia to face a complete ban from the Tokyo 2020 Olympics after the country was accused of manipulating data from the Moscow Laboratory.

The Games have been postponed until next year because of COVID-19.

"It should be an absolute blanket ban without any excuses or admissions of athletes," Rodchenkov told the BBC.

"The same personnel who were smuggling and swapping samples during Sochi, they were falsifying all documentation.

"It was a progression in falsifying, day by day, of this data – an incredible fraud of unspeakable proportion.

"It shows the country learns absolutely nothing."

The Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) is currently deemed non-compliant by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

RUSADA was first declared non-compliant in 2015, before being reinstated and sanctioned again last year after the claims about the Moscow data.

Among the sanctions WADA has imposed on RUSADA is a four-year ban on the Russian flag flying at the Olympic Games or any World Championships.

The case is currently being appealed at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

Grigory Rodchenkov was interviewed prior to the launch of his autobiography on Thursday ©Waterstones
Grigory Rodchenkov was interviewed prior to the launch of his autobiography on Thursday ©Waterstones

The Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF) is also facing expulsion from World Athletics, with the organisation still failing to emerge from being suspended back in November 2015 following revelations of state-sponsored doping.

RusAF had been ordered to pay World Athletics $6.31 million (£5 million/€5.6 million) but missed the cut-off point earlier this month.

The fine from World Athletics came after an investigation into world indoor high jump champion Danil Lysenko.

Seven RusAF officials – including then-President Dmitry Shlyakhtin – were charged by the Athletics Integrity Unit with obstructing an anti-doping investigation by forging documents to explain Lysenko's missed tests.

The Russian Taskforce overseeing the country's reinstatement from its lengthy suspension was stood down, as well as the body which decides which Russians can compete with neutral status.

RusAF is now facing expulsion, with World Athletics set to discuss the situation at a Council meeting tomorrow and on Thursday (July 30).

"In athletics it's incredible cheating with the Lysenko case," Rodchenkov told the BBC.

"Now [World Athletics president] Sebastian Coe is ready to suspend or disqualify Russian athletics forever.

"It's very right, because people in Russian athletics – if they are not absolutely guilty, they are complicit."

Rodchenkov also claimed the CAS was a "great danger" and expressed concern the standard of proof required could lead to RUSADA's four-year sanction being overturned.

The sanctions of 28 Russian athletes implicated in the country's doping scheme at Sochi 2014 were cleared by the CAS prior to the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang.

CAS deemed that "the evidence collected was found to be insufficient to establish that an anti-doping rule violation was committed by the athletes concerned".

CAS insisted on absolute "proof" rather than a "beyond reasonable doubt" conclusion.

A further 11 athletes had sanctions partially upheld, but the CAS also ruled that lifetime Olympic suspensions were unenforceable.

Grigory Rodchenkov suggested there was a
Grigory Rodchenkov suggested there was a "great danger" CAS could overturn RUSADA's four-year sanction ©Getty Images

Rodchenkov spoke to the BBC from an undisclosed location in the United States, with the whistleblower living in hiding for the past five years.

He wore a scarf, sunglasses and hat to keep his changed identity secret.

Rodchenkov's book has already generated headlines prior to its release, due to a claim that the Soviet Union boycotted the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles because Russian officials feared their doping would be exposed.

Rodchenkov had previously claimed to the BBC back in 2018 that he had known of "several extremely suspicious cases in British sport", although he has yet to publicly reveal evidence.

The book is being released as the controversial Rodchenkov Act is being considered in the United States.

It gives the US jurisdiction over international doping cases – something that WADA and the International Olympic Committee have repeatedly flagged as not being acceptable.

The measure calls for fines of up to $1 million (£800,000/€900,000) and prison sentences of up to 10 years for those who participate in schemes designed to influence international sports competitions through doping.

Individual athletes who get caught doping would not be subject to punishment under the law.