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Wada calls for Russia to be banned from all international competition, including Rio Olympics

The McLaren report says the nation used a complex state-supported doping scheme at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.

Image: AP/Press Association Images

THE WORLD ANTI-DOPING Agency (Wada) has called for Russia to be banned from all international sporting competition, including next month’s Olympic Games in Brazil.

The move comes after the release of a Wada-requested report by Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren that says Russia used a complex state-supported doping scheme at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.

“WADA calls on Sport Movement to deny Russian athletes participation at international comp including Rio until ‘culture change’ achieved,” Wada spokesman Ben Nichols tweeted.

Prof McLaren said Russia’s FSB security and intelligence service had backed the doping cover-ups by anti-doping laboratories in Moscow and Sochi under orders from the country’s Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko.

“The Moscow laboratory operated, for the protection of doped Russian athletes, within a state-dictated fail-safe system,” McLaren said.

“The Sochi Laboratory operated a unique sample swapping methodology to enable doped Russian athletes to compete at the Winter Olympic Games,” he added.

The report didn’t make any recommendations in terms of punishment but Wada has since responded by insisting that there is enough evidence to implement a blanket ban on Russia competing in international competitions.

The International Olympic Committee could take the first sanctions against Russia tomorrow over what IOC president Thomas Bach called “shocking and unprecedented”.

“The findings of the report show a shocking and unprecedented attack on the integrity of sports and on the Olympic Games,” Bach said after the release of the report.

“Therefore, the IOC will not hesitate to take the toughest sanctions available against any individual or organisation implicated,” he added.

The International Olympic Committee said the Wada’s independent report would be “carefully” studied and “provisional measures and sanctions” could be decided when IOC members hold an emergency telephone conference tomorrow.

Russia’s athletics team has already been banned from the Rio Olympics over the state doping saga but it is believed the findings from this report will see the entire team banned from the Games.

Key findings in Monday’s 96-page report:

  • “The Moscow laboratory operated, for the protection of doped Russian athletes, within a state-dictated failsafe system, described in the report as the Disappearing Positive Methodology.”
  • “The Sochi Laboratory operated a unique sample swapping methodology to enable doped Russian athletes to compete at the Games.” 
  • “The Ministry of Sport directed, controlled and oversaw the manipulation of athlete’s analytical results or sample swapping, with the active participation and assistance of the FSB (Russian secret service), CSP, and both Moscow and Sochi Laboratories.” 
  • “The Moscow laboratory personnel did not have a choice in whether to be involved in the State directed system.” 
  • “The State had the ability to transform a positive analytical result into a negative one by ordering that the analytical process of the Moscow Laboratory be altered. The Ministry of Sport, RUSADA and the Russian Federal Security Service (the “FSB”) were all involved in this operation.”
  • “After the completion of the (2013) Moscow (world athletics) championships, the laboratory held a number of positive samples that needed to be swapped by removing the cap and replacing the athlete’s dirty urine before the samples were shipped to another laboratory as instructed by the IAAF.” 

You can read the full report here.

© AFP 2016

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