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McLaren’s report: Doping cover-up in Russia was unprecedented

Former Russian sports minister could be involved in doping manipulations, according to the report

LONDON, December 9. /TASS/. The conclusions made in the first part of the report by the World Anti-Doping Agency’s independent commission led by Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren remain unchanged, as follows from the second part of the report.

McLaren on Friday presented the second part of the report devoted to the problem of doping abuse in Russian sports. The first part of the report was released on July 18.

An unprecedented system to cover up doping abuse cases of athletes has been in effect in Russia over the recent years, according to McLaren.

"The summer and winter sports athletes were not acting individually but within an organized infrastructure as reported on in the 1st report," McLaren’s report said on Friday.

"This systematic and centralized cover up and manipulation of the doping control process evolved and was refined over the course of its use at London 2012 Summer Games, Universiade Games 2013, Moscow IAAF World Championships 2013, and the Winter Games in Sochi in 2014," the report said.

"The evolution of the infrastructure was also spawned in response to WADA regulatory changes and surprise interventions," according to McLaren.

"The key findings of the 1st report remain unchanged," today’s report said. "The forensic testing, which is based on immutable facts, is conclusive. The evidence does not depend on verbal testimony to draw a conclusion."

"Rather, it tests the physical evidence and a conclusion is drawn from those results," according to McLaren’s report.

Former Russian sports minister could be involved in doping manipulations

Canadian sports law professor Richard McLaren was looking for talks with Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko, but they failed to agree on the meeting.

Former Russian sports minister Vitaly Mutko, his deputy Nagornykh could be involved in doping manipulations. McLaren said he has no "direct evidence" that Mutko knew about the doping program and manipulations with samples.

"One of the lessons learned from the preparations for London 2012 and described in Chapter 4 was to no longer use the official doping control kits. By direction of Minister Mutko and Deputy Minister Nagornykh all pre-competition washout samples for testing were to be collected only "under the table" in unofficial containers. The "under the table" system consisted of collecting samples in regular intervals and subsequently testing those samples for quantities of prohibited substance to determine the rate in which those quantities were declining so that there was certainty the athlete would test "clean" in competition," the report said.

Russia’s Olympic Committee is not involved in manipulations with doping tests, the report said, adding that Russian anti-doping system’s reformations on positive course. "We don’t have any evidence directly that the members of the Russian Olympic Committee were involved in this conspiracy," McLaren said.

"I think they’ve done a lot of positive things coming out of the first report. First of all, they dealt with some of the people who were involved in the system that we named. They are no longer doing those jobs," he said.

McLaren also praised the establishment of Russia’s Independent Public Anti-Doping Commission (IPADC) under the chairmanship of Vitaly Smirnov. "There’s been Vitaly Smirnov who’s been appointed the head of the public commission on anti-doping. There is the Investigative Committee examining the possibility of criminal offences."

WADA lacks access

The commission had access only to a small part of evidence regarding the doping abuse in Russia, McLaren said.

"The picture is clear, but it is not complete. We’ve only had access to a small fraction of the evidence possible to examine," McLaren said.

Over 1,000 Russian athletes competing in summer, winter and Paralympic sports could have been involved in the manipulations system to conceal positive doping tests, according to WADA Independent Commission’s report.

"Twelve winning athletes… from 44 examined samples had scratches and marks on the inside of the caps of their B sample bottles, indicating tampering," the report said.

"Fifteen Russian medal winners were identified out of the 78 on the London Washout List," McLaren’s second report stated on Friday. "Ten of these athletes have now had their medals stripped."

Doping samples of six Russian 2014 Paralympic champions falsified, according to the report. Doping samples collected from two Russian athletes, who won four gold medals at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, and of one silver medalist have been tampered with, the report said. 

"Tampering with original sample established by two [sport] athletes, winners of four Sochi Olympic Gold medals, and a female silver medal winner in [sport] with physiologically impossible salt readings," the report said.

The Russian Olympic team finished the 2014 Olympics in Sochi in the first place of the medals standings with the overall result of 33 won medals (13 gold, 11 silver and 9 bronze medals) surpassing its previous Winter Olympics record of 11 gold medals, set at the 1994 Winter Games in Norway’s Lillehammer.