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State behind drug cheating scandal in Russian sport

By Eddie Pells

Published 19/07/2016

Investigator: Richard McLaren
Investigator: Richard McLaren

A state-directed cheating programme in Russian sport resulted in no fewer than 312 positive results for doping being withheld, an inquiry has found.

Investigator Richard McLaren said the programme covered 28 sports and lasted from 2011 until at least last year’s world swimming championships.

But he did not make any recommendations for the future of the Russian team at the Rio Olympics, saying it is up to others, including the International Olympic Committee, to “absorb and act upon” his 97-page report.

IOC president Thomas Bach immediately called the findings a “shocking and unprecedented attack on the integrity of sports and on the Olympic Games”, and said the committee will not hesitate to apply the toughest sanctions available against those accused of cheating.

Mr McLaren said the cheating began in 2011, shortly after Russia’s disappointing performance at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver in 2010. It included the 2013 track world championships in Moscow and was in place during the 2015 swimming world championships in Kazan.

In short, Russia’s deputy minister of sports, who was also part of Russia’s Olympic Committee, would direct workers at Moscow’s anti-doping laboratory on which positive samples to send through and which to hold back. Assisting the plan was Russia’s national security service the FSB.

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