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Over 1,000 Russian athletes benefited from conspiracy to conceal doping

Last updated on: December 09, 2016 20:57 IST

'We are now able to confirm a cover up that dates back until at least 2011 and continued after the Sochi Olympic Games. It was a cover up that evolved from uncontrolled chaos to an institutionalised and disciplined medal-winning conspiracy'

A woman walks into the head office of the World Anti-Doping Agency in Montreal

IMAGE: A woman walks into the head office of the World Anti-Doping Agency in Montreal. Photograph: Christinne Muschi/Reuters

More than 1,000 Russian athletes competing in summer, winter and paralympic sport were involved in or benefited from an institutional conspiracy to conceal positive doping tests, a WADA report said on Friday.

The second part of a report by Canadian sports lawyer Richard McLaren provided more details of an elaborate state-sponsored doping scheme operated by Russia.

It said there was a systematic cover-up, which was refined at the 2012 Olympics, 2013 world athletics championships and 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, and that more than 30 sports, including soccer, were involved in concealing positive doping samples.

"We are now able to confirm a cover up that dates back until at least 2011 and continued after the Sochi Olympic Games. It was a cover up that evolved from uncontrolled chaos to an institutionalised and disciplined medal-winning conspiracy," McLaren told a news conference on Friday.

"It was a cover up an unprecedented scale and the second part of this report shows the evidence that increases the number of athletes involved as well as the scope of the conspiracy and cover up.

"We have evidence revealing that more than 500 positive results were reported as negative, including well-known and elite-level athletes, who had their positive results automatically falsified."

Richard McLaren, who was appointed by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to head an independent investigative team

IMAGE: Richard McLaren, who was appointed by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to head an independent investigative team. Photograph: Peter Power/Reuters

McLaren said Russia won 24 gold, 26 silver and 32 bronze medals at London 2012 and no Russian athlete tested positive.

"Yet the Russian team corrupted the London Games on an unprecedented scale, the extent of which will probably never be fully established," he said.

"The desire to win medals superseded their collective moral and ethical compass and Olympic values of fair play.

"For years international sports competitions have unknowingly been hijacked by the Russians. Coaches and athletes have been playing on an uneven field. Sports fans and spectators have been deceived and it is time that this stops."

The report said a urine sample swapping technique used at Sochi became regular practice at the Moscow laboratory that dealt with elite athletes

It added that four Sochi gold medallists had samples with physiologically impossible salt readings, while 12 Russian Sochi medallists had evidence of tampering with the bottles containing their urine samples.

The original McLaren report, released in July, was one of two commissioned by WADA which revealed widespread state-sponsored doping in Russian sport.

The July report found Moscow had concealed hundreds of positive doping tests in many sports ahead of the Sochi Games and led to a partial ban of Russian athletes competing in Rio de Janeiro Olympics in August.

Although Russian track and field athletes and weightlifters were banned from competing at Rio, the International Olympic Committee rejected a blanket ban and let international sports federations decide which athletes should be eligible to compete.

The evidence contained in the report can be found at the website: https://www.ipevidencedisclosurepackage.net/

Russian ministry denies WADA accusations of state doping cover-up

Russia's Sports Ministry on Friday denied accusations made by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) that the Russian state had covered up a doping programme for its sports people.

A WADA report released on Friday said more than 1,000 Russian athletes competing in summer, winter and paralympic sport were involved in or benefited from an institutional conspiracy to conceal positive doping tests.

The Russian ministry said it would carefully study the WADA report and that it would fully cooperate with anti-doping bodies.

The Kremlin also said it would study the report, Interfax news agency reported.

Russia's athletics chief, Dmitry Shlyakhtin, declined to comment on the WADA report because he said he had not seen it.

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