Over 1,000 Russian athletes benefited from doping conspiracy

LONDON: More than 1,000 Russian athletes competing in summer, winter and paralympic sport were involved in or benefited from an institutional conspiracy to conceal positive doping tests, an independent WADA report said on Friday.
The second and final part of the report for the World Anti-Doping Agency by Canadian sports lawyer Richard McLaren provided more details of an elaborate state-sponsored doping scheme operated by Russia.
It said there was a systematic cover-up, which was refined at the 2012 Olympics, 2013 world athletics championships and 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, and that more than 30 sports, including soccer, were involved in concealing positive doping samples.
“We are now able to confirm a cover up that dates back until at least 2011 and continued after the Sochi Olympic Games. It was a cover up that evolved from uncontrolled chaos to an institutionalised and disciplined medal-winning conspiracy,” McLaren told a news conference on Friday. “It was a cover-up of an unprecedented scale and the second part of this report shows the evidence that increases the number of athletes involved as well as the scope of the conspiracy and cover up.
“We have evidence revealing that more than 500 positive results were reported as negative, including well-known and elite-level athletes, who had their positive results automatically falsified.”
McLaren said Russia won 24 gold, 26 silver and 32 bronze medals at London 2012 and no Russian athlete tested positive.
“Yet the Russian team corrupted the London Games on an unprecedented scale, the extent of which will probably never be fully established,” he said.
“The desire to win medals superseded their collective moral and ethical compass and Olympic values of fair play.
“For years international sports competitions have unknowingly been hijacked by the Russians. Coaches and athletes have been playing on an uneven field.”
ELITE ATHLETES
The report said a urine sample-swapping technique used at Sochi became regular practice at the Moscow laboratory that dealt with elite athletes.
It added that four Sochi gold medallists had samples with physiologically impossible salt readings, while 12 Russian Sochi medallists had evidence of tampering with the bottles containing their urine samples.
— Reuters