of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency
(USADA) pretending to be Ukrainian Sports Minister Ihor Zhdanov.
Pranskters Vladimir Kuznetsov and Alexei Stolyarov
separately called WADA head Craig Reedie and USADA head Travis Tygart,
according to recordings published online by Sputnik, a Russian
state-owned news agency.
Sputnik said the two callers “managed to trick” the two
anti-doping officials “into revealing the truth behind the doping
scandal”. They made the calls for a comedy show on Russia’s NTV channel,
which will be shown on Friday evening.
Publishing the calls ahead of the program, Sputnik said
they had been made on May 28, before the results of a WADA-backed
investigation into doping allegations were published.
Kuznetsov asked Reedie whether he thought the results
of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics should be revised in light of the
doping scandal. Reedie said that he didn’t yet see proof of Russia’s
wrong-doing and advised the caller, believing him to be Zhdanov, to
await the results of the investigation.
Stolyarov also asked Tygart whether Sochi biathlon
results should be revised, resulting in Ukrainians gaining medals
awarded to Russians. Tygart said that this could potentially happen, but
also said this would depend on the investigation.
President Vladimir Putin and his allies have deftly
deflected the blame for the scandal by passing it off as a western Cold
War-style plot to sabotage Russia’s international comeback.
Kuznetsov and Stolyarov have a history of making
embarrassing calls to celebrities, notably British singer Elton John,
who spoke to them last September believing he was speaking to Putin.