A brief his­tory of the Rus­sian dop­ing scan­dal

Montreal Gazette - - SPORTS -

De­cem­ber, 2014: The Ger­man tele­vi­sion net­work ARD airs a doc­u­men­tary that al­leges wide­spread Rus­sian dop­ing. Rus­sian ath­letes are the key whistle­blow­ers and Grig­ory Rod­chenkov, at the time the top anti-dop­ing sci­en­tist in the coun­try, is caught on cam­era dis­cussing the scheme. He is un­aware he is be­ing recorded. WADA launches a com­mis­sion to in­ves­ti­gate the claims, headed by Cana­dian Richard Pound.

Novem­ber, 2015: The com­mis­sion’s first re­port says it “con­firmed the ex­is­tence of wide­spread cheat­ing through the use of dop­ing sub­stances” in Rus­sian sport. Rod­chenkov re­signs as di­rec­tor of the Moscow anti-dop­ing lab. He leaves for the United States within days of the res­ig­na­tion.

Fe­bru­ary, 2016: Nikita Ka­maev, for­mer head of the Rus­sian Anti-Dop­ing Agency, dies at 52 af­ter sud­den heart fail­ure.

May, 2016: Hav­ing been ap­proached in Cal­i­for­nia by FBI in­ves­ti­ga­tors and or­dered to ap­pear be­fore a grand jury, Rod­chenkov tells his story to the New York Times and pro­vides re­porters with hun­dreds of pages of doc­u­men­tary ev­i­dence. Rus­sia de­nies ev­ery­thing and says he is a liar with a shady past. WADA ap­points Cana­dian lawyer Richard McLaren to lead a new in­ves­ti­ga­tion with a short dead­line: less than two months, to al­low time to make a de­ci­sion on Rus­sia be­fore Rio 2016.

July, 2016: McLaren’s first re­port says it has con­firmed “beyond a rea­son­able doubt” the ex­is­tence of a state-spon­sored dop­ing scheme. WADA calls for the IOC to ban the Rus­sian team en­tirely from Rio. The IOC in­stead al­lows in­di­vid­ual ath­letic fed­er­a­tions to de­cide on bans. The in­ter­na­tional track and field body is one of the few to im­ple­ment a to­tal ban on Rus­sia.

Au­gust, 2016: Rus­sia fields a team of 291 ath­letes in Rio, win­ning 56 medals, fourth among all na­tions.

Septem­ber, 2016: Rus­sia does not com­pete in the Par­a­lympic Games, as the IPC is­sued a to­tal ban. Rus­sia did not con­test the rul­ing.

Oc­to­ber, 2016: Vi­taly Mutko, the min­is­ter of Sport in Rus­sia and the per­son Rod­chenkov cites as over­see­ing the dop­ing pro­gram, is pro­moted to deputy prime min­is­ter.

De­cem­ber, 2016: McLaren’s sec­ond re­port builds on the first, and says 695 Rus­sian ath­letes were part of the “ma­nip­u­la­tions to con­ceal po­ten­tially pos­i­tive dop­ing con­trol tests.” It says there is in­con­tro­vert­ible ev­i­dence of dozens of urine sam­ples hav­ing been al­tered, in­clud­ing from 15 Rus­sians who won medals at Sochi 2014.

Septem­ber, 2017: Alexan­der Zhukov, Rus­sian mem­ber of the IOC, says at a Peru meet­ing that “all of them are go­ing to PyeongChang” when asked about his coun­try’s team.

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