A WADA report on the systematic doping of Russian athletes at the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games led by Canadian law professor Richard McLaren was published this morning at 9:00 EST confirming state-sponsored doping in Russian sports.
The report looked to address reports from late in 2015 where Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov, the former head of Moscow’s anti-doping laboratory, indicated his part in a state-sponsored doping ring in a tell-all of the doping procedure from the 2014 Olympic Games.
McLaren released his findings today as well through a news conference in Toronto where he indicated that he had confirmed that the Russian Olympic team had partaken in a systematic doping approach to improve their results at their home games in 2014.
MCLAREN’S KEY FINDINGS
- The Moscow Laboratory operated for the purpose of protecting doped Russian athletes
- The Sochi laboratory operated a unique sample swapping methodology which allowed doped Russian athletes to compete at the games with no possibility of a positive test eliminating them from competition
- The Ministry of Sport were in control of the manipulation of analytical results or sample swapping, directing and overseeing the entire process. The FSB (Russian federal security service), CSP (Center of Sports Preparation in Russia), and both the Moscow and Sochi Laboratories all actively participated in the process
McLaren stated that the findings of his report have been proven, “beyond a reasonable doubt,” going further to say that all evidence is “verifiable”.
He went on to confirm that positive tests “in every sports discipline” were passed to the Deputy Minister of Sport, Yuri Nagornykh. Nagornykh was responsible for deciding who would not be protected by the labs.
According to his report, the systematic doping began in 2010 and carried through until 2014. McLaren stated “the system worked well to cover up doping, except at major international events.” Because of this, in Sochi the Russians developed the sample-swapping methodology where “tamper-proof” bottles were switched.
Towards the end of the press conference, McLaren reiterated that the “disappearing positive methodology” applies across all sports. McLaren didn’t name any specific athletes or sports, but did say that the report lists both summer and winter sports that were effected.
This report comes out just after FINA released a statement outlining their “concern” for calls from both the American and Canadian anti-doping authorities to ban Russia from the Olympic Games.
FINA’s main concern with anti-doping authorities speaking out is that they did so prior to the release of the McLaren report. The full FINA statement can be found here.
While McLaren’s report doesn’t specifically indicate swimming, it was clear that the state-sponsored doping looked to take place across all sports, meaning that there’s a very high chance swimming was involved as well. The same Moscow anti-doping lab used at the Sochi Olympics was used at the 2015 World Championships.
To read the entire McLaren report click here.