The United States and Germany led calls for Russia to be exiled from international competition after the McLaren report said doping in sport in the country represented an “institutional conspiracy”.
More than 1,000 athletes in the summer and winter Olympics and Paralympics “can be identified as being involved in or benefiting from manipulations to conceal positive testing”, said Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren.
Drug test samples at the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014 were even manipulated by the addition of salt and coffee, said the report prepared for the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
“It’s another staggering example of how the Olympic movement has been corrupted and clean athletes robbed by Russia’s state-supported doping system,” said Travis Tygart, the head of the US anti-doping body (USADA).
The IOC this week extended sanctions against Russia while the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) recently renewed its suspension of the country. That had already seen the entire Russian track and field team banned from the Rio Olympics in the summer.
The IOC said it would re-analyse all 254 samples it has from Russian athletes at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. But Russia remained defiant.
“The Russian sports ministry with full responsibility states there are no government programmes to support doping in sport,” said a statement in response to the McLaren report.
The ministry added that it “will continue the fight against doping with zero tolerance” and “carefully study the information contained in the report with the aim of coming up with a constructive position”.
The International Paralympic Committee (IPC), which banned Russia completely from the Rio Paralympics in September, called the McLaren findings “astonishing”. “They strike right at the heart of the integrity and ethics of sport,” it said in a statement.