A commission appointed by the World Anti-Doping Agency concluded that the Russian Ministry of Sport “directed, controlled and oversaw” state-dictated doping cover-ups. The findings come after an investigation of Russian athletes and officials participating in the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games.
In June Breitbart News reported that the International Association of Athletics Federations banned Russia’s track and field team for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro as a result of extensive doping and corruption charges. Russia appealed those finding to WADA.
The recent findings may precipitate a blanket ban of the Russian Olympic team at the Rio Games in August. Sporting News reported at least 10 nations and 20 athlete groups expect to pressure Olympic leaders to ban the Russian cheaters.
The head of the independent commission, Richard McLaren, said on Monday while speaking at a media conference in Toronto, that the Russians set up a system to cover up positive drug tests in “many sports.”
According to ESPN, the commission found 11 positive tests by Russian soccer players alone that “were made to disappear in the state-sponsored doping program.”
Key finding of the commission:
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 Federal Security Service], CSP [Centre of Sports Preparation of National Teams of Russia], and both Moscow and Sochi Laboratories.
The BBC reports that the Russian deception was “planned and operated” from late 2011. They further state that the use of banned substances included the London Games in 2012, and continued through the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, and up until 2015.
International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach called the findings a “shocking and unprecedented attack on the integrity of sport and on the Olympic Games. ” Bach promises to apply the “toughest sanctions available” against the Russians.
The IOC will conduct a conference call on Tuesday to discuss the report’s findings and available sanctions.