Last month World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) management presented a status report concerning Russian doping testing during the nation’s period of non-compliance. Today, in partnership with United Kingdom Anti-Doping (UKAD), WADA issued an updated report, one with eye-catching accusations.
The report entitled ‘Play True – Update on the Status of Russia Testing’ provides details on how far Russian athletes reportedly went to evade doping control officers (DCO’s), avoid testing, tamper with samples, and participate in other avenues of alleged deception.
Although swimming as an individual sport is not mentioned, the report provides alarming details on the 2,947 total tests conducted on Russian athletes between the dates of November 18, 2015 and May 29, 2016. Of those tests, 2,142 were conducted on athletes participating in Summer Olympic sports.
The 22-page report breaks the testing statistics down into red-flagged categories such as ‘whereabouts’, ‘athlete evasion’, ‘sample tampering’, and ‘general delays’, each with examples of cases and scenarios. You can read WADA’s report in its entirety here, but below are a few highlights:
- General Whereabouts – Overall, 736 tests requested of Russian athletes were declined or canceled with another 73 not able to be collected because the athlete wasn’t available. The Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) conveyed to WADA that its national federations to not have contact details for some of their athletes, and, therefore, have no way of contacting them or providing whereabouts to WADA.
- Military Cities – Military cities have been used as athletes’ whereabouts, with the athletes allegedly knowing that special permission is needed to gain access to such installations. When finally gaining access to military cities, doping control officers (DCO’s) were reportedly intimidated with a Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) agent threatening expulsion from the country cited as one example.
- Sample Collection Tampering – The document explains how one athletics athlete allegedly had a container inserted inside her body, presumably containing clean urine. When trying to use the container during sample collection, it leaked onto the floor. The DCO ultimately retrieved it from the trash, but was allegedly met with a bribing proposition by the athlete.
- Customs – WADA accredited laboratories reported samples being opened by Russian customs and overall delays in the transportation of samples.