Russia's Doping a 'State-Sanctioned Regime'

Authors say country could be banned from next year's Rio Olympics
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 9, 2015 11:27 AM CST
Russia's Doping a 'State-Sanctioned Regime'
In this file photo taken Saturday, March 8, 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin, foreground, watches downhill ski competition of the 2014 Winter Paralympics in Sochi, Russia.   (AP Photo/RIA-Novosti, Alexei Nikolsky, Presidential Press Service)

Russian athletes should be banned from the Rio Olympics and future track and field competitions, say authors of a scathing new report on the country's systematic doping program. The report, the result of a 10-month investigation from an independent commission of the World Anti-Doping Agency, says top athletes, coaches, trainers, doctors, members of Russian law enforcement agencies, Russia's own anti-doping agency, and a lab that handled testing for the 2014 Sochi Olympics, were in on the scheme, which involved payments to conceal doping tests, 1,400 destroyed samples, and leaking dates of tests to athletes, reports the New York Times. Since the Russian government provides funding and oversight to the implicated institutions, the system "was effectively a state-sponsored regime," the report says.

The report also finds the 2012 London Olympics were "sabotaged" by "widespread inaction" against athletes with dubious doping profiles, reports the BBC. "It's worse than we thought," says a co-author, noting the evidence has been turned over to Interpol. "This level of corruption attacks sport at its core," adds another. "The Russians themselves have said there are vestiges of the old Soviet system, old-guard coaches who haven't changed and can't change." Russia, which got a look at the report before it was published, has suspended five athletes, including distance runner Maria Konovalova. WADA will decide on possible punishments at a meeting next week. Last week, French authorities began investigating Lamine Diack, the former president of track and field's world governing body, who's accused of accepting bribes from Russian athletes. (WADA is also investigating the "dirtiest secret" in sports.)

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