Per Japanese news outlet Kyodo, the World Anti-Doping Agency has determined that the doping records of at least 145 Russian athletes have been tampered with. according to internal WADA documents published Tuesday by Russian state-owned news agency TASS. No specific names or identifying information about the athletes were revealed.
According to the report compiled by WADA’s Compliance Review Committee, WADA suspects the doping data of up to 298 athletes have been tampered with. Of those, 145 cases have now been so classified. The document indicated further investigation of the remaining 153 athletes is necessary in order to make a determination on them.
The committee has recommended Russia be banned from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics and from major sports events for a period of four years. The organization’s Intelligence & Investigations department, along with independent forensics experts, have been looking into the data from the Moscow lab and gave a report to the Compliance Review Committee (CRC), which in turn passed its recommendation to the Executive Committee (ExCo).
RUSADA was deemed non-compliant in November of 2015. The International Olympic Committee didn’t choose to ban all Russian athletes from competing at the 2016 Olympics, though the 2016 Paralympic Games did blanket ban Russia and its athletes, and so did the governing body for Olympic track & field, the IAAF. Many Russian swimmers saw their Olympic eligibility swing back and forth until days before the Olympics, though most of the nation’s top athletes did indeed compete in Rio.
WADA banned Russia’s Anti-Doping Agency in 2015 in response to the country’s systematic doping effort as host of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.
Russia was reinstated as compliant earlier in February of this year, although they may face yet another Games ban after WADA officials discovered that Russian athletes’ failed drug tests had been erased from a critical data set.
While some 260 Russian athletes competed at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, the International Paralympic Committee barred the Russian delegation from its competition in Rio.
At the Pyeongchang Games last year, Russian athletes who met strict requirements were able to compete under the Olympic flag as neutrals representing the Olympic Athletes from the Russia team.
We’ve reached out to WADA for comment and were told that through the Intelligence and Investigations (I&I) Department WADA, along with independent forensic experts, is the body that carried out the process of collection, collation and authentication of the data from the Moscow Laboratory. As such, any manipulation/falsification discovered will have been done so by WADA. The I&I submitted its report to the Compliance Review Committee (CRC), which in turn has made a recommendation to the Executive Committee. They won’t have any further comment available until after the Executive Committee’s meeting on Dec. 9.