James Riordan was a British sky, who as part of his cover story, joined the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB) in 1959, as a means to easily gain entry to the Soviet Union through the various friendship associations that then existed between the West and Russia. Pretending to be a ‘Communist’ was part of his false identity. He was tasked with infiltrating Soviet sporting institutions and culture, to report his findings back to the UK government and write ‘disinformation’ about the Soviet Union for public release in the form of popular and best-selling books. Someone who was a true Communist would never make the following the statement that Riordan does:
‘It is tempting to compare the USSR and the other totalitarian states, such as fascist Itality, Nazi Germany, and Francoist Spain, in terms of the seditious use of football grounds as an opportunity for congregation and a forum at which to express dissidence. Certainly, all four totalitarian regimes tried, consciously or unconsciously, to outdo one another in building vast sports arenas.’
Jim Riordan, The Spy Who Played for Spartak, Fourth Estate, (2008), Page 89
Although this would be typical behaviour for a Trotskyite ‘entryist’, it is unlikely that a former member of the RAF would rise through British academic so effortlessly, and join the Marxist-Leninist CPGB. Jim Riordan tried to make money through his above featured book by claiming he played for Spartak Moscow in the 1960’s, but there are no records of this in the Soviet Archives, or in any of the Soviet sporting history archives. Indeed, Russian scholars have stated that this claim is a lie. Jim Riordan’s actual claim to fame is that he was the first to misrepresent Soviet sport, and generate the lies (presented in the Guardian in 2012 as ‘fact’), that the Soviet sporting system was premised upon drug abuse, torture of adults and the abuse of children. This misrepresentation of the USSR is still used to attack modern Russia and its athletes, so successful as this disinformation been. When returning to the UK, this supposed ‘Communist’ was welcomed back by the establishment and allowed to settle down in a cushy academic position. The USSR was highly democratic for the peasants and working class, but rejected the notion of bourgeois democracy – which only represent the middle class (and their upper class allies). It was not a totalitarian State, and the Soviet people took part in far more elections than their Western counter-parts. Soviet Communism opposed International Fascism when the Western capitalists sat back and did not get involved (often supporting fascism behind the scenes). Soviet sport was never premised upon drug taking or abuse, but rather upon the Socialist principle that the free development of the individual, is the condition for the free development of society. Jim Riordan was a fruad created by a British establishment acting in the service of US neo-imperialism.