Over 1,000 athletes implicated in probe into Russian doping
LONDONDec 10, 2016 - 12:00 am GMT+3
Dec 10, 2016 12:00 am
More than 1,000 athletes are implicated in a Russian program of state-sponsored doping, World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) investigator Richard McLaren confirmed in the second part of his report published Friday. "For years, international sports competitions have unknowingly been hijacked by the Russians," McLaren told a news conference in London. Canadian lawyer McLaren said in his report an "institutional conspiracy" allowed athletes competing in summer, winter and Paralympic sports to benefit from manipulations to conceal positive doping tests. McLaren said the conspiracy dated back to 2011, continued at least until 2015, and involved 12 medalists from the Winter Olympic Games Russia hosted in Sochi in 2014. "Coaches and fans have been playing on an uneven field," McLaren said. "Sports fans and spectators have been deceived." The Russian Olympic team "corrupted the (2012) London Games on an unprecedented scale," his report said. Russian officials from the Ministry of Sport, the Russian anti-doping agency RUSADA, the Center of Sports Preparation of National Teams of Russia (CSP), the Moscow anti-doping laboratory and state-security service FSB were all involved. "An institutional conspiracy existed across summer and winter sports athletes who participated with Russian officials within the Ministry of Sport and its infrastructure, such as the RUSADA, CSP and the Moscow Laboratory, along with the FSB for the purposes of manipulating doping controls," the report said. "The summer and winter sports athletes were not acting individually but within an organized infrastructure as reported on in the 1st report."
The "systematic and centralized cover-up and manipulation of the doping control process evolved and was refined over the course of its use at the London 2012 Summer Games, Universiade Games 2013, Moscow IAAF World Championships 2013 and the Winter Games in Sochi in 2014," the report added. The swapping of Russian athletes' urine samples at the Sochi was confirmed, but the report said it did not stop with those Games. McLaren's first report published in July had outlined a state-run system of cheating in which doping samples were tampered with and positive drugs tests turned into negative results by doping laboratories in Moscow and Sochi.