DOPING SCANDAL: Radcliffe among British athletes to fear for sport after finding that London Olympics "was sabotaged"

The London 2012 Olympics was “sabotaged” by the presence of Russian athletes with suspicious doping profiles, according to a WADA independent commission report.

 

 

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has released its independent commission report into doping within athletics.

Some of the findings:

:: The London 2012 Olympics was “sabotaged” by the presence of Russian athletes with suspicious doping profiles. The IC report blames this on the “inexplicable laissez-faire” approach of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), the Russian athletics federation (ARAF) and the Russian anti-doping agency (RUSADA) in allowing them to compete.

:: More than 1,400 samples had been “intentionally and maliciously” destroyed by Russian laboratory personnel.

The director of the WADA-accredited laboratory, Grigory Rodchenko, was an integral part in the conspiracy to extort money from athletes in order to cover up positive doping test results.

Rodchenko admitted that 1,417 samples had been intentionally destroyed in two separate interviews with the IC.

:: A ’second’ Moscow laboratory existed, and the commission said there was sufficient corroborated evidence to conclude that positive samples were destroyed there and that pre-screened negative samples were sent on to the WADA-accredited facility.

:: Russian secret service agents were also involved in the efforts to interfere with the integrity of samples and the commission had “serious doubts” about the Russian anti-doping agency’s independence from the Russian government’s Ministry of Sport.

:: The presence of Russian secret service surveillance agents compromised the laboratory’s impartiality, judgement and integrity during the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014.

:: There was “direct intimidation and interference” by the Russian state with the Moscow laboratory operations.

:: Athletes used false identities for the purposes of evading testing and that Russian doping control officers (DCOs) routinely accepted bribes from athletes.

:: RUSADA allowed athletes to compete while under existing anti-doping sanctions.

:: The ARAF’s interim president Vadim Zelichenok demanded that IC investigators should not speak to athletes.

:: Based on the above, the IC recommended Russia be suspended from IAAF competition. It also recommended the withdrawal of the Moscow laboratory’s WADA accreditation and that Rodchenko be permanently removed from his position.

:: Most information concerning the IAAF’s alleged role in covering up doping in the sport was withheld from the report. Information gathered by the report’s authors has been passed to Interpol and is now the subject of an ongoing investigation by French police. The commission hopes to publish its findings in relation to the IAAF before the end of 2015.

:: The commission found a “deep-rooted culture of cheating” in Russian athletics. Coaches were among the worst offenders, it said. Quoting the report, it said: “This acceptance and, at times, expectation of cheating and disregard for testing and other globally accepted anti-doping efforts, indicate a fundamentally flawed mindset that is deeply ingrained in all levels of Russian athletics. The mindset is ’justified’ on the theory that everyone else is cheating as well.”

:: It is the considered view of the IC “that Russia is not the only country, nor athletics the only sport, facing the problem of orchestrated doping in sport”.

***

Great Britain’s former marathon world champion Paula Radcliffe has called for "strong action" in response to a situation that is even worse than she had feared.

Radcliffe wrote on Twitter: “Suspected some of this for years but way worse than imagined. Athletics needs to take strong action and move quickly forward in right direction.

“This is the time clean athletes need to stand up and fight for our sport and credibility.”

Compatriot Jenny Meadows, who had her 800 metres silver at the 2011 European Indoor Championships later upgraded to gold following the disqualification of Russia’s Yevgeniya Zinurova, also took to Twitter to give her reaction to the report.

Meadows said: “Always suspected it but finally confirmation that the Russian Athletics Federation have denied me of my finest moments of my career.”

Former GB heptathlete Kelly Sotherton had similar sentiments. Sotherton wrote: “Upset? No... Angry?...No Surprised? No.... Disappointed.... Yes! £Doping £Wadapressconference

“2008 Olympics – I was 4th. (Russia’s Tatyana) Chernova 3rd. And banned the following year for 3yrs.”

Katharine Merry, who won 400 metres bronze for GB at the 2000 Olympics, wrote: “Not ashamed to say upset today...reading & listening to words that tear into the heart of our sport...our truly great sport. Sad times.

“It’s like having a few naughty kids in a class and that tarnishes the whole class rep..gotta finally step up the penalties..fines/exclusions”.


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