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Investigators refute McLaren’s report about Russia's so-called 'state doping program'

Russian experts denied McLaren’s statements on replacement of doping tests in Sochi

MOSCOW, November 8. /TASS/.The Russian Investigative Committee (IC) has refuted information provided by the independent investigator of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Richard McLaren on replacement of doping samples at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi and presence of a state doping program in Russia, Russian Investigative Committee Spokeswoman Svetlana Petrenko said.

Russia’s investigation "refuted the arguments of WADA’s independent expert McLaren on replacement of Russian athletes’ positive samples with negative results in the Sochi anti-doping laboratory at the Olympics, as well as on existence of some sort of a state doping program in Russia to help athletes win as many medals as possible," she noted.

"The investigators questioned more than 700 athletes, coaches and medical workers of Russian national teams living across the whole territory of the Russian Federation, employees of the Russian national sports federations, the Sports Training Center for Russian National Teams, RUSADA [Russian Anti-Doping Agency] and the Anti-Doping Center. Still, no one confirmed the existence of a doping program," Petrenko reported.

"Even if there were some doping rules violations, these were isolated incidents," she added.

"Some coaches and athletes testified that Rodchenkov had spread drugs the characteristics of which were not known to them but were later revealed as doping," the IC spokeswoman reported.

Checking McLaren’s arguments

During investigative operations, the Investigative Committee employees examined rooms in the building that was used during the Olympic Games as an anti-doping laboratory. The IC spokeswoman reiterated that "McLaren himself failed to do it during his ‘investigation.’"

The investigators also questioned builders, security guards and support staff who worked during the Sochi Olympics. "The inspection involving experts and testimonies given by multiple witnesses refute the allegations of presence of a hole in the laboratory’s wall through which the Russian athletes’ doping samples were passed," Petrenko reported.

Salt in the samples

According to the IC representative, the experts denied McLaren’s statements about replacement of the Russian athletes’ positive doping samples with negative ones at the Sochi anti-doping laboratory by adding salt or distilled water to them, as can be seen, according to McLaren’s statements, from the abnormal results of the biomaterial. "A hard and lengthy study revealed that the results called ‘abnormal’ are connected to physiological metabolic processes that occur in human kidneys after physical exertion, as well as to the volume and composition of consumed liquids," the IC representative reported.

The investigators also denied McLaren’s argument of possible opening of bottles for collecting doping samples made by Swiss company Berlinger.

"The experts concluded in March 2017 that the bottle’s cap cannot be fully opened without affecting its integrity. At present, the experts are studying the contradictory findings by the University of Lausanne’s School of Criminal Justice on possible opening of bottles with a half-closed cap," Petrenko reported.

In addition, the investigators received information that WADA has no evidence that Russia is guilty of massive doping application by athletes.