McLaren report reveals widespread Russian doping at Sochi

By iSportconnect | July 18, 2016

An independent World Anti Doping Authority claims there was widespread state-sponsored doping by the Russians at the Sochi winter Olympics.

The McLaren report, authored by Canadian law professor Richard McLaren, gave a damning verdict on how Russian samples were removed from the anti-doping system in Sochi, and at the track and field world championships in Moscow in 2013. Now Russia’s participation at the Olympics in Rio are in serious doubt.

The report claims authorities “operated a unique sample swapping methodology to enable doped Russian athletes to compete at Games” to ensure positive samples were removed from the process. Also that, that the Russian sports ministry “directed, controlled and oversaw” manipulation of athlete’s analytical results or sample swapping.

The scale of the doping McLaren outlined was truly astonishing – 643 positive samples were removed from the system from 2012 to 2015. 

As many as 30 sports were affected, but most cases were found in athletics and weightlifting. 

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Russian weightlifters and track and field athletes have already been banned from Rio, barring extenuating circumstances, for doping violations. Many will now call for that ban to be extended to the entire Russian Olympic delegation, in the face of such widespread abuse.

The IOC must now decide on a course of action, although in the past it has handed the responsibility of banning athletes to the international federations. However given the scale of the allegations, and the size of the potential punishment, the IOC would be unlikely to delegate responsibility to the IFs in this case.

iSportconnect will have analysis of the report by Michael Pirrie, the former executive adviser to the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, shortly.