A World Anti-Doping Association (WADA) commissioned report has discovered that Russia “directed, controlled and oversaw” manipulation of urine samples provided by its athletes. The report was commissioned after former director of anti-doping Dr Grigory Rodchenkov made allegations of doping. He claimed that at least fifteen Russian medallists in the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi were part of the doping programme.
WADA: Russia covered up doping since 2011
It is believed that both the secret service and sports ministry were involved in the manipulation of these samples.
According, to WADA, the doping programme was “planned” from 2011 on wards and including the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Furthermore, the programme continued through the 2014 Winter Olympic games – that were held in Russia, before ending in 2015. The programme led to at least 300 falsified results up until the 2015 World Swimming Championships.
Some of the doping was carried out by ‘clean’ urine samples being frozen, and then replaced with ‘doped’ urine.
The report comes just over two weeks from the beginning of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will decide later this week whether sanctions on Russia for Rio Olympics will brought in. The country’s track and field athletes have already been banned from the Games this summer.
Reaction to the Report:
President of the IOC, Thomas Bach, has responded to the reports by saying “The findings of the report show a shocking and unprecedented attack on the integrity of sports and on the Olympic Games. Therefore, the IOC will not hesitate to take the toughest sanctions available against any individual or organisation implicated.”
The report was produced by Canadian law professor Dr. Richard McLaren. He believes that he has “unwavering confidence” in all of his findings.
The sports minister, Vitaly Mutko, who is believed to be heavily involved, is also in charge of the Russian Football Union, which is in charge of hosting the 2018 FIFA World Cup, according der BILD political editor Julian Röpcke.
On Monday, Russian president, Vladimir Putin, said any attempt to stop Russian athletes travelling to Rio is “unfair and uncivilised.” However, this is believed to be WADA’s preferred course of action.
The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency CEO, Travis T. Tygart, has described the the doping programme as “a mind-blowing level of corruption within both Russian sport and government”
The report’s three main findings:
McLaren’s report supported Rodchenkov’s allegations, and clarified its three main findings as:
1. The Moscow laboratory operated, for the protection of doped Russian athletes, within a state-dictated fail-safe system, described in the report as the Disappearing Positive Methodology.
2. The Sochi Laboratory operated a unique sample swapping methodology to enable doped Russian athletes to compete at the Games.
3. The Ministry of Sport directed, controlled and oversaw the manipulation of athlete’s analytical results or sample swapping, with the active participation and assistance of the FSB, CSP, and both Moscow and Sochi Laboratories.