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Athletics doping: Wada commission wants Russia ban

2015-11-09 20:47:45

Wada reportThe commission was investigating allegations made in a German TV documentary about Russian athletics last year

Russia should be banned from athletics competition, a World Anti-Doping Agency commission report has recommended.

Wada's independent commission examined allegations of doping, cover-ups, and extortion in Russian athletics, which also implicated the IAAF, the sport's world governing body.

It says London 2012 was "sabotaged" by "widespread inaction" against athletes with suspicious doping profiles.

Russia were also accused of running a "state-supported" doping programme.

The report also recommended that five athletes and five coaches should be given lifetime doping bans.

The commission's chairman, Dick Pound, who led a Wada news conference on Monday, said: "For the 2016 Olympic Games our recommendation is that the Russian federation be suspended," he said.

"One of our hopes is they will volunteer to take the remedial work - if they don't the outcome may be no Russian track and field athletes in Rio. I hope they recognise it is time to change."

Pound, meanwhile, gave his backing to IAAF president Lord Coe, saying he was the right man to lead the governing body.

In an IAAF statement, Lord Coe described the information in the Wada report as "alarming" and said he would seek approval from the governing body's council members to consider sanctions against the Russian athletics federation (Araf), which could include suspension.

Wada reportRussian doping 'worse than thought'

What are the key findings?

The report's co-author, sports lawyer Richard McLaren, believes it shows "a different scale of corruption", even compared with football's ongoing Fifa scandal, saying actual results at international athletics competitions had been changed because of cheating.

The report also:

  • Revealed many instances of inadequate testing and poor compliance around testing standards.
  • Suggested that neither the Russian athletics federation (Araf) the Russian anti-doping agency (Rusada), nor the Russian Federation can be considered anti-doping code-compliant.
  • Recommended that Wada withdraw its accreditation of the Moscow laboratory as soon as possible and advocated the permanent removal of its director Grigory Rodchenko, whom it accuses of asking for and accepting bribes and intentionally destroying samples he was told to keep.
  • Confirmed allegations that some Russian doctors and/or laboratory personnel acted as enablers for systematic cheating along with athletics coaches.
  • Identified the intentional and malicious destruction of more than 1,400 samples by Moscow laboratory officials after receiving written notification from Wada to preserve target samples.
  • Said that Russian security service FSB were present at the Moscow and Sochi labs and that this was part of a wider pattern of "direct intimidation and interference by the Russian state with the Moscow laboratory operations."
  • Found that Rusada gave athletes advance notice of tests, hid missed tests, bullied doping control officers and their families and took bribes to cover up missed tests.
  • Found that a number of Russian athletes suspected of doping could have been prevented from competing at the London 2012 Olympics had it not been for "the collective and inexplicable laissez-faire policy" adopted by the IAAF and the Russian athletics federation.
  • Found that Russian law enforcement was involved in efforts to "interfere with integrity of samples".
  • Found evidence of multiple rules breaches by IAAF officials and found the governing body to be "inexplicably lax in following up suspicious blood (and other) profiles".

Which doping scandal is this?

The report was commissioned on a "very narrow mandate" to "determine the accuracy" of allegations made in a German TV documentary about Russian athletics last December.

It claimed Russian athletes paid 5% of their earnings to domestic doping officials to supply banned substances and cover-up tests, while athletics' world governing body the IAAF was implicated in covering up the abuse.

The programme's claims of widespread doping were made by former Russian Anti-Doping Agency (Rusada) official Vitaly Stepanov and his wife Yulia (nee Rusanova), formerly an 800m runner who was banned for doping.

It included testimony from Russian athletes admitting to using banned substances and evidence of doping and corruption.

The commission was not asked to examine separate doping claims made in August when The Sunday Times and a German broadcaster claimed leaked blood tests from 5,000 athletes over 11 years showed an "extraordinary extent of cheating". The IAAF said the allegations were "sensationalist and infuriating"and Wada is investigating them separately.

What happens next?

It will now be down to Wada to implement the report and whatever action the IAAF deems appropriate.

Although the commission has no power to act on its findings, the report's co-author McLaren told BBC World Service he wanted to see the recommendations adopted.

"It certainly means that you have to change the governance structure significantly and probably the doping regime and how it's administered," he said.

When asked about the possibility of kicking Russia out of international competitions, Lord Coe told BBC Radio 5 live's Sportsweek on Sunday that his instinct was "engagement rather than isolation".


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