A new investigative report has revealed that over a thousand Russian athletes were at one time or the other involved in doping.
More than 1,000 Russians – including Olympic medallists – benefited from a state-sponsored doping programme between 2011 and 2015, a report claims.
At least 30 sports, including football, covered up samples, the report says.
“It was a cover-up that evolved from uncontrolled chaos to an institutionalised and disciplined medal-winning conspiracy,” said the report’s author, Richard McLaren.
Lawyer McLaren said London 2012 was “corrupted on an unprecedented scale”.
The report also implicates medallists at the 2013 World Athletics Championships in Moscow, and the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
According to the report, salt and coffee were used to manipulate Russian samples.
The report added
the system was refined over the course of the 2012 Olympics, 2013 Worlds and Winter Olympics to protect likely
Russian medal winners.
Russia won 72 medals at the London Games, 21 of which were gold, and 33 medals at Sochi, 13 of which were gold.
McLaren’s second report added depth and supporting evidence to the initial findings published in July – that Russia operated a state-sponsored doping programme.
That first report was met with denials from Russia and calls for more proof from the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
Writing in his latest report, McLaren says: “The desire to win medals superseded their collective m0ral and ethical compass and Olympic values of fair play.”
He said international sports competitions had been “unknowingly hijacked by the Russians” and sports fans have been “deceived” for years.
“It is time that stops,” he added.
In a statement, Russia’s sports ministry said it would examine the report but insisted
on “the absence of a state programme of support for doping sport”. It said it would “continue to fight doping from a position of zero
Russian MP Dmitry Svishchev, who is also the head of Russia’s Curling Federation
, was quoted by Ria Novosti news agency as saying
: “This is what we expected. There’s nothing new, only empty allegations against all of us. If you are Russian, you’ll get accused of every single sin.”
When asked for a reaction to those comments, McLaren said: “I would say read the report. Its findings are not challengeable. He is reacting in a vacuum because he has not read the report.”
The first McLaren report explained how disappearing positive
drug tests were secreted through “mouse holes” drilled by spies.
That was based on information received from Dr Grigory Rodchenkov, a director of the anti-doping laboratory at Sochi 2014.
He had said the Russian secret service developed ways of opening sample bottles and replacing their contents without intervention being detected.