Russia Accused of Doping in Olympics

July 18th 2016

Laura Donovan

A new report reveals that Russian officials were behind state-sponsored doping before and after the 2014 Sochi Olympics, according to The New York Times.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) released the report on Monday, just two months after the country's former anti-doping lab director, Grigory Rodchenkov, told The New York Times in a separate interview that Russian government officials instructed him to help cover up doping at the Sochi Olympics. The WADA report confirms these claims.

“The Ministry of Sport directed, controlled and oversaw the manipulation of athlete’s analytical results or sample swapping, with the active participation and assistance of the [Federal Security Service and others]," Canadian law professor and anti-doping commission leader Richard McLaren said at a press conference on Monday, Bloomberg reported.

The Associated Press reported on Monday that Putin plans to suspend officials named in the report:

“The surprise result of the Sochi investigation was the revelation of the extent of State oversight and directed control of the Moscow laboratory in processing, and covering up urine samples of Russian athletes from virtually all sports before and after the Sochi Games,” McLaren wrote in the report.

As a result, WADA has asked the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to forbid Russian teams from participating in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics. The IOC's executive board is set to have a conference call on Tuesday to make preliminary decisions on how to approach the upcoming Rio de Janeiro Olympics with this new information.

U.S. Olympic Committee CEO Scott Blackmun released a statement on Monday saying that the new report "confirms what we have stated previously: the current anti-doping system is broken and urgently requires the attention of everyone interested in protecting clean athletes."

"We look forward to working with the IOC, WADA and the entire Olympic family to address the flaws in the current system so that a uniform approach to anti-doping can be implemented and enforced around the world," Blackmun continued. "In the meantime, we are focused on preparing Team USA to compete at the upcoming Rio Games and will rely on the IOC, WADA and the international federations to impose sanctions that are appropriate in relation to the magnitude of these offenses, and that give clean athletes some measure of comfort that they will be competing on a level playing field in Rio.”

Read the full New York Times report here.