More than 1,000 athletes across summer, winter and Paralympic sports were involved in a widespread state-sponsored doping system in Russia akin to an “institutional conspiracy,” Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren has claimed when delivering the second part of his report on Friday.
Medalists from London 2012, the 2013 Universiade in Kazan, the 2013 World Athletics Championships and Sochi 2014 were implicated, according to McLaren, although no names were given.
This included evidence of tampering with the samples of 12 medalists from the Winter Olympics in Sochi, four of which were gold.
Over 30 sports were involved in or benefited from the doping system.
McLaren, appointed as the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) independent person to investigate the doping claims, also said Russia “corrupted the London Games on an unprecedented scale, the extent of which will probably never be established” as he detailed further evidence of the initial report findings released in the first report in July.
The “systematic and centralized cover-up and manipulation of the doping control process,” which “evolved and was refined” over the course of its use at several major events, was in place between 2011 and 2015.
It was “a cover-up that evolved over the years from uncontrolled chaos to an institutionalized and disciplined medal-winning strategy and conspiracy”, McLaren said.
“It is impossible to know just how deep and how far back this conspiracy goes,” he added.
“For years, international sports competitions have unknowingly been hijacked by the Russians.
“Coaches and athletes have been playing on an uneven field.
“Sports fans and spectators have been deceived.
“It is time this stops.”
The initial report in July was met with a fierce, dismissive backlash from Russia, with many officials claiming there was no evidence to back up the findings.
McLaren seems to have addressed it in the second report, however, as his report includes evidence such as DNA analysis, which proves samples were swapped.
It included two female hockey players at the Sochi 2014 Games having male urine samples.
Other tests proved that doping sample bottles had been opened, with visible scratch marks made using a thin mental strip – a device which matches the description of one used by the FSB.
An unnamed expert was given 13 bottles and could easily identify which had not been tampered with.
The report also claimed that salt and coffee were added to urine samples.
This was done to make the urine look like a “dirty sample” rather than one which had been replaced with a clean sample.
By Liam Morgan
Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz.