Good Government and Civil Rights Litigation

Grigory Rodchenkov, Whistle Blower Investigation

When a former Russian official revealed the existence of a state-sponsored doping program, he turned to WMHW to represent him in an ongoing investigation and his integral cooperation with international anti-doping agencies and the International Olympic Committee, which resulted in an unprecedented decision by the International Olympic Committee, forever changing the face of international sports. The case was later featured in Bryan Fogel’s Academy Award-winning documentary, Icarus.

Former Russian anti-doping official Grigory Rodchenkov fled to the U.S. in 2015 after unveiling Russia’s state-sponsored doping program. Dr. Rodchenkov engaged WMHW to represent him during ongoing investigations of the doping program and to offer testimony regarding the program despite credible threats to his safety. 

Because Russian authorities had challenged Dr. Rodchenkov’s credibility, our team reestablished his reputation as the victim of a corrupt system who had voluntarily come clean. In the last several years, we have represented Dr. Rodchenkov in an array of proceedings and investigations, including those brought by the Department of Justice, Helsinki Commission, World Anti-Doping Agency, International Olympic Committee, and criminal authorities in other countries.

Dr. Rodchenkov’s cooperation with and testimony to Professor Richard McLaren was integral to the December 2016 McLaren report, which concluded that our client’s testimony and information was credible and corroborated and found that Russian officials had orchestrated a long-term doping program involving 1,000 athletes across 30 sports. Based on McLaren’s findings, the IOC announced in 2017 that Russia was barred from the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Jim Walden also used Dr. Rodchenkov’s evidence to advocate vigorously for doping reform. Jim presented at the Helsinki Commission in February 2018, then worked with U.S. Congress members to introduce the Rodchenkov Anti-Doping Act in December 2018, the first-ever criminal statute to combat doping fraud in major international sporting competitions. This piece of groundbreaking bipartisan legislation criminalizes doping fraud while providing a gateway for the Department of Justice to investigate and prosecute related corrupt practices. After passing the House of Representatives, The Rodchenkov Anti-Doping Act made its way to the Senate early in 2019 securing the endorsement of the legislative body on November 23, 2020. 

On December 4, 2020, a gratifying victory for Jim Walden, the firm, and Dr Rodchenkov was achieved when the bill was signed into law by President Donald J. Trump.

Media Coverage

Jim Walden Testifies Before U.S. Congress Regarding The Rodchenkov Anti-Doping Act, (legislation he conceived), Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) a/k/a U.S. Helsinki Commission  (July 25, 2018)

“U.S. Lawmakers Seek to Criminalize Doping in Global Competitions,” New York Times features anti-corruption legislation conceived by Jim Walden  (June 12, 2018)

“Winter Olympics: Russian doping whistleblower Grigory Rodchenkov’s IOC warning”, BBC (February 23, 2018)

“Man behind Russia’s Olympic doping scheme says cheating is widespread,” 60 Minutes (February 9, 2018)

“Jim Walden: Russia responsible for ‘most elaborate and sophisticated doping world has ever known,” Channel 4 with Jon Snow (December 5, 2017)

“Whistleblower’s lawyer on ban of Russian Athletes,” CNN Amanpour (November 29, 2017)

“Olympic Doping Diaries: Chemist’s Notes Bolster Case Against Russia,” New York Times (November 28, 2017)