经济学人双语版-鼠洞乾坤 Through the mousehole

A doping supremo-turned-snitch reflects on his country and career

一个曾主导兴奋剂大案的告密者反思他的国家和事业【《罗琴科夫事件》书评】

AS A YOUNG man in the Brezhnev-era Soviet Union, Grigory Rodchenkov dreamed of becoming a champion long-distance runner. He wasn’t good enough. Instead, after training as a chemist, he made it to the top of another discipline: doping. His engaging memoir tells the story of how, as head of what was in theory Russia’s national anti-doping laboratory, he masterminded a huge, state-sponsored cheating operation, culminating in the biggest fraud in sporting history: the jaw-droppingly brazen sample-swapping shenanigans at the Winter Olympics of 2014 in the Russian city of Sochi, for which the host country was eventually fingered and banned from international competitions.

在勃列日涅夫时代的苏联,年轻的格里戈里·罗琴科夫(Grigory Rodchenkov)梦想成为一名长跑冠军。但他不够优秀。不过在经过化学专业的训练后,他在另一个项目上出人头地了:使用禁药。在他引人入胜的自传里,他讲述了自己在担任俄罗斯所谓的国家反兴奋剂实验室的主管时,如何策划了一场由政府支持的大规模作弊行动,最终上演了体育史上最大的欺诈案:在2014年索契冬奥会上,东道国俄罗斯厚颜无耻地偷换样本、瞒天过海。这一令人瞠目结舌的诡计最终被告发,俄罗斯被禁止参加国际赛事。

His book covers a lot of ground at speed: the history of drugs in sport; the half-hearted efforts of global authorities to crack down; the geopolitical rivalries driving cheating; the pettiness and vindictiveness of Russia bureaucracy; and the morality of doping. Despite his whistle-blowing, Mr Rodchenkov himself remains ambivalent about steroid use. Done judiciously, it can be less harmful than overtraining, he says.

他在书中节奏明快地讲述了诸多内容:体育运动中的用药史、国际机构在反兴奋剂方面不痛不痒、地缘政治竞争助长作弊、俄罗斯官僚机构的小心眼和报复心,还有使用兴奋剂的道德问题。尽管他最终成了揭发内幕的吹哨人,罗琴科夫本人对使用类固醇的态度仍然模棱两可。他说,如果使用得当,药物造成的危害可能还没有超负荷训练大。

Doping is in Russia’s sporting blood. It seemed quite normal to Mr Rodchenkov to inject Retabolil, a Hungarian steroid, in his early 20s, his mother administering it in their cramped flat in Moscow. Elite athletes took copious quantities. One coach boasted of injecting more than 50 race-walkers a day. In 1984, the author says, the Soviet Union had an abortive plan to send a ship with a secret lab to the port of Los Angeles, to assist with doping for the Olympics (which the Soviets ultimately boycotted).

俄罗斯体育的血液中流淌着兴奋剂。罗琴科夫20来岁时,他的母亲就在他们莫斯科狭小的公寓里给他注射一种匈牙利产的类固醇癸酸诺龙(Retabolil),这一切对他来说似乎再正常不过。顶尖运动员更是大剂量地使用它们。一名教练曾洋洋自得地说自己一天里要给50多名竞走运动员注射药物。罗琴科夫说,1984年苏联曾计划派遣一艘配有秘密实验室的船只前往洛杉矶港,以协助本国队员在奥运会期间使用兴奋剂(最终苏联抵制了这届奥运会,该计划也就作罢)。

The “medals over morals” policy, as Mr Rodchenkov calls it, was stepped up under Vladimir Putin, who saw Olympic success as a way to project power in the post-Soviet world. After the embarrassment of the Vancouver Winter Olympics of 2010, in which Russia won just three golds, and with Sochi next, officials were loth to leave anything to chance. Mr Rodchenkov and his team developed a highly effective cocktail of steroids, known as the Duchess, dissolved in Chivas Regal (or vermouth for those who liked it sweeter). During the games, Russian medal contenders’ urine samples were passed through a “mousehole” in the wall of his Sochi lab at night, taken by FSB (security-service) agents who had worked out how to open supposedly tamper-proof bottles without leaving marks, replaced with clean pee and passed back. A spook posing as a plumber oversaw the scam.

在奥运会上取得成功被普京视为在后苏联时代展示实力的方式,在他治下,罗琴科夫称之为“奖牌第一、道德第二”的政策变本加厉。在2010年温哥华冬奥会上,俄罗斯仅摘得三枚金牌,颜面尽失;到了之后一届的索契冬奥会,官员们可不愿听天由命。罗琴科夫和他的团队开发出了一种非常有效的类固醇鸡尾酒,用芝华士威士忌冲调(喜欢甜一点的也可以用威末酒),取名“公爵夫人”。在奥运会期间,有望争夺奖牌的俄罗斯选手的尿样在夜里通过他的索契实验室墙上的“老鼠洞”传递,由俄罗斯联邦安全局(FSB)的特工带走,他们有办法不留痕迹地打开本应防篡改的尿样瓶,替换成干净的尿液,然后传送回原处。一名特工伪装成水管工,监督整个诡计。

Mr Rodchenkov was very good at his job. Across five winter and summer Olympic games, not one elite athlete under his guidance was caught during competitions. The trick, he says, was to offer the odd sacrificial lamb lower down the pecking order so as not to look suspicious. In one case, when a well-known biathlete’s sample tested positive as inspectors from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) looked on, he managed to switch the paperwork, leaving an unknown wrestler to take the fall.

罗琴科夫的工作十分出色。在他的指导下,整整五届冬季和夏季奥运会没有一名顶尖运动员在比赛中被检出用药。他说,诀窍在于偶尔祭出几个替罪羊,牺牲掉地位较低的选手来避免被怀疑。有一次,在世界反兴奋剂机构(WADA)检查员的眼皮底下,一个知名冬季两项选手的尿样检测呈阳性,罗琴科夫设法调换了文件,让一个名不见经传的摔跤选手出来顶罪。

Keeping one step ahead in the cat-and-mouse with WADA and global sports administrators was not hard; WADA was a “hot air machine”, hobbled by indecision. Olympic officials talked tough on doping control but worried that scandals would scare off sponsors and audiences. In the end, this impotent anti-doping regime was forced to get much tougher after a series of revelations in the international media.

在这场与WADA和世界体育管理机构的猫鼠游戏中,保持领先一步并不太难:WADA只会夸夸其谈,行动上优柔寡断。奥委会官员在兴奋剂问题上严厉表态,但又担心丑闻会吓跑赞助商和观众。在国际媒体一系列曝光之后,这个软弱无力的反兴奋剂制度终于被迫变得强硬了许多。

The author has since attained celebrity as a snitch, starring in an Oscar-winning documentary, “Icarus” (see picture), and having an American anti-doping law named after him. But his status has come at a cost. Granted political asylum in America, he lives in protective custody in an undisclosed location. When he leaves home, flanked by at least one bodyguard, he sometimes wears a bulletproof vest. He has reason to worry, given Russia’s vengeful attitude to “traitors”. Two former doping officials who stayed in Russia died 11 days apart in mysterious circumstances.

罗琴科夫后来以告密者的身份名声大噪,主演了一部奥斯卡获奖纪录片《伊卡洛斯》(Icarus,见图),美国还以他的名字命名了一部反兴奋剂法案。但他也为此付出了代价。在美国获得政治庇护后,他在一个秘密地点生活,处于保护性监禁的状态。出门时他身边至少有一名保镖,有时还会穿上防弹背心。鉴于俄罗斯对“叛国者”的报复心,他的担心不无道理。两名留在俄罗斯的前反兴奋剂官员在11天里先后离奇死亡。

His erstwhile paymasters have been forced to admit violations, but hardly appear chastened. Russia is appealing against a four-year Olympic ban. It continues to play games, submitting “a clumsily adulterated pack of lies” to WADA investigators, which, says Mr Rodchenkov, was “so artlessly counterfeited that it was almost as if they were begging to be caught”. Paraphrasing George Orwell, he concludes that the Russian state is as conscious as ever of the truth, but as wedded as ever to lies. ■

他以前的雇主被迫承认违规,但并没有多少悔过自新的迹象。俄罗斯正在就四年奥运会禁赛期提起上诉。它还在继续耍花招,向WADA调查人员提交了“一大摞拙劣的谎言”。罗琴科夫说,这些谎言“就这么赤裸裸地捏造出来,好像生怕没人来拆穿”。他套用乔治·奥威尔的话总结道,俄罗斯政府一如既往地清楚真相,却一如既往地忠于谎言。

 

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