POSTED: July 18th 2016

Olympics: McLaren report slams Russian state-sponsored doping at the Sochi 2014 Games

The Disappearing Positive Methodology was utilised across a range of sports as reflected in the above chart © WADA
The Disappearing Positive Methodology was utilised across a range of sports as reflected in the above chart © WADA

The IP has reproduced a copy of the architectural plans for the first floor of the Sochi Laboratory where the analytical bench work on doping samples was conducted. Click to enlarge © WADA
The IP has reproduced a copy of the architectural plans for the first floor of the Sochi Laboratory where the analytical bench work on doping samples was conducted. Click to enlarge © WADA

LAURA WALDEN (USA) / Sports Features Communications

(SFC) The WADA investigative report compiled and delivered by Richard McLaren sent shock waves through world sport this morning. It was a watershed moment for sports to think that under everyone's watchful eyes in Sochi the most sophisticated and elaborate urine swapping scheme ever accomplished at an Olympic Games was taking place right there in the Olympic Zones. At least that we know of, sad to say.

And it goes straight to the core explaining how the Moscow and Sochi laboratories operated under the direction of the Ministry of Sport with the assistance of the Russian Anti-doping Agency (RUSADA), Center of Sports Preparation of National Teams of Russia (CSP) and the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) to cover up doped Russian athletes.

Cover ups also took place at other events such as the 2013 Moscow IAAF World Championships and the World University Games, Kazan 2013.

The WADA report sums up:

1. 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.

2. The Sochi Laboratory operated a unique sample swapping methodology to enable doped Russian athletes to compete at the Games.

3. 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, CSP, and both Moscow and Sochi Laboratories.

Shortly after the press conference Ben Nichols, spokesman for WADA Tweeted two key messages on social media: WADA calls on Sport Movement to deny Russian athletes participation at international comp including Rio until "culture change" achieved. WADA: doping scheme across 30 sports mean there can no longer be presumption of innocence. Russian doping control system called into question.

The IOC reacts: The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has today received the world anti-doping agency's "independent person report". The IOC will now carefully study the complex and detailed allegations, in particular with regard to the Russian ministry of sport. 

"The findings of the report show a shocking and unprecedented attack on the integrity of sport and on the Olympic Games. Therefore, the IOC will not hesitate to take the toughest sanctions available against any individual or organization implicated," IOC President Thomas Bach said. 

In the immediate short term, the IOC Executive Board (EB) will convene in a telephone conference tomorrow to take its first decisions, which may include provisional measures and sanctions with regard to the Olympic Games Rio 2016." 

Then IPC President Sir Philip Craven has made the following statement: "We are truly shocked, appalled and deeply saddened at the extent of the state sponsored doping programme implemented in Russia ahead of Sochi 2014.  The findings of the McClaren report mark a very dark day for sport.

"The IPC will now analyse the report's findings in detail to evaluate what impact they have on the Paralympic Movement and Para Sport.

"After an initial review of the report, we note the 35 'disappearing' positive samples from Paralympic sport between 2012 and 2015 and have sent a letter to WADA and the report's author Richard McClaren seeking further information on these samples.  We have also requested urgent clarification from both parties to better establish how the findings implicate the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games and Russian Para athletes as the report defines the Sochi Games as the XXII Olympic Winter Games.

"Once we have the further details we have requested from both parties, the IPC Governing Board will convene for a telephone conference.  The Board will discuss the findings of the report and decide what relevant action needs to be taken to protect clean athletes competing in Paralympic sport.  This may include provisional measures and sanctions with regards to the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games."

USOC CEO Scott Blackmun issues a statement: "The McClaren Report confirms what we have stated previously: the current anti-doping system is broken and urgently requires the attention of everyone interested in protecting clean athletes. We look forward to working with the IOC, WADA and the entire Olympic family to address the flaws in the current system so that a uniform approach to anti-doping can be implemented and enforced around the world. In the meantime, we are focused on preparing Team USA to compete at the upcoming Rio Games and will rely on the IOC, WADA and the international federations to impose sanctions that are appropriate in relation to the magnitude of these offenses, and that give clean athletes some measure of comfort that they will be competing on a level playing field in Rio."

The next step as to the fate of Russia will come after the IOC EB teleconferences tomorrow.

The complete McLaren report can be found here.

**LAURA WALDEN has over twenty-five years of experience in the Olympic Movement, formerly at the European Olympic Committees with SportEurope under former IOC President Dr. Jacques Rogge and IOC Member Mario Pescante. She worked with the Rome 2004 and Turin 2006 Olympic bids and also managed PR & media for Dr. Jacques Rogge during his campaign for the presidency.

Keywords · Olympics · WADA · Sochi 2014

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