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Call for Russia’s Oly ban after probe finds state-run doping

 Agencies |  2016-07-19 23:23:29.0  |  Montreal

Call for Russia’s Oly ban after probe finds state-run doping

An investigation by Canadian law professor Richard McLaren for WADA found the FSB secret service helped “the state-dictated failsafe system” carried out by the sports ministry and covering 30 sports.
“WADA calls on sport movement to deny Russian athletes participation at international competition including Rio until ‘culture change’ achieved,” the international anti-doping agency spokesman Ben Nichols said in a statement on Twitter.

International Olympic Committee members are to hold an emergency telephone conference on Tuesday to decide provisional sanctions over what IOC president Thomas Bach called “a shocking and unprecedented attack on the integrity of sports and on the Olympic Games.”

McLaren’s report said the cover up started in 2010 after Russia’s “abysmal” results at the Vancouver Winter Olympics and continued until 2015 after the Sochi Games.President Vladimir Putin made the Sochi Games a showcase event and more than 50 billion was spent putting it on.

Russia, which had strongly denied any state involvement, is already banned from international athletics by the world body, the IAAF, because of doping exposed last year.

There will no be mounting pressure for that to be extended even though Bach and some international federations have said there has to be a way for athletes proved to be clean to compete in Rio. 

“The IOC will not hesitate to take the toughest sanctions available against any individual or organisation implicated,” Bach said in a statement announcing the IOC conference on Tuesday. 

McLaren’s report said the Sports Ministry under Vitaly Mutko organised the subterfuge under which tainted urine samples were replaced and kept away from international observers. “The Moscow laboratory operated for the protection of doped Russian athletes within a state-dictated failsafe 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. McLaren did not make any recommendations on sanctions. But the call by WADA is likely to followed up by the United States and Canadian anti-doping agencies.

Both had said before the report’s release that a blanket ban on Russia from Rio, which starts August 5, should be considered if the evidence was damning. “The Ministry of Sport directed, controlled and oversaw the manipulation of athletes’ analytical results or sample swapping and the active participation and assistance of the FSB (Russian Federal Security Service), CSP (Center of Sports Preparation for Russian athletes) and both Moscow and Sochi laboratories,” McLaren said.
WADA mandated McLaren to investigate allegations made by former Moscow anti-doping laboratory director Grigory Rodchenkov in May.

“I realize there are other aspects of his life that are not appropriate,” McLaren said. “I didn’t need to get into that.” McLaren dismissed any notion that having less than two months to conduct the investigation or the reluctance of some witnesses to come forward compromised the results. 

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