Russian doping “unprecedented”
More than 1,000 athletes involved
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.