Rus­sian dop­ing “un­prece­dented”

More than 1,000 ath­letes in­volved

The Denver Post - - SPORTS - By Stephen Wil­son

lon­don» Rus­sia’s sports rep­u­ta­tion was ripped apart again Fri­day when a new re­port into sys­tem­atic dop­ing de­tailed a vast “in­sti­tu­tional con­spir­acy” that cov­ered more than 1,000 ath­letes in over 30 sports and cor­rupted the drug-test­ing sys­tem at the 2012 and 2014 Olympics.

The find­ings were handed over to the In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee, which will be un­der pres­sure to take ac­tion against the Rus­sians be­fore the 2018 Win­ter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

“It is im­pos­si­ble to know just how deep and how far back this con­spir­acy goes,” World An­tiDop­ing Agency in­ves­ti­ga­tor Richard McLaren said. “For years, in­ter­na­tional sports com­pe­ti­tions have un­know­ingly been hi­jacked by Rus­sians. Coaches and ath­letes have been play­ing on an un­even field. Sports fans and spec­ta­tors have been de­ceived.”

McLaren’s sec­ond and fi­nal re­port said the con­spir­acy in­volved the Rus­sian Sports Min­istry, na­tional anti-dop­ing agency and the FSB in­tel­li­gence ser­vice, pro­vid­ing fur­ther de­tails of state in­volve­ment in a mas­sive pro­gram of cheat­ing and coverups that op­er­ated on an “un­prece­dented scale” from 2011-15.

The Cana­dian law pro­fes­sor de­scribed the Rus­sian dop­ing pro­gram as “a coverup that evolved over the years from un­con­trolled chaos to an in­sti­tu­tion­al­ized and dis­ci­plined medal-win­ning strat­egy and con­spir­acy.”

The find­ings con­firmed much of the ev­i­dence con­tained in McLaren’s first re­port is­sued in July, while ex­pand­ing the num­ber of ath­letes in­volved and the over­all scope of the cheat­ing pro­gram in the sports pow­er­house.

“Over 1,000 Rus­sian ath­letes com­pet­ing in sum­mer, win­ter and Par­a­lympic sport can be iden­ti­fied as be­ing in­volved in or ben­e­fit­ing from ma­nip­u­la­tions to con­ceal pos­i­tive dop­ing tests,” McLaren said.

The names of those ath­letes — in­clud­ing 600 sum­mer sports com­peti­tors — have been turned over to in­ter­na­tional fed­er­a­tions to pur­sue dis­ci­plinary sanc­tions, he said.

The 144-page re­port pro­vided fur­ther foren­sic ev­i­dence of ma­nip­u­la­tion of sam­ples at the 2014 Sochi Win­ter Games.

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