The World Anti-Doping Agency independent report has recommended that Russia be banned from international athletics following details of systematic doping and a state-sanctioned cover-up.
1) Systematic doping in Russian sport
The president of the International Association of Athletics Federations, Sebastian Coe, says he has urged the IAAF council to “start the process of considering sanctions” against the All-Russia Athletic Federation (Araf), having previously said he would be against such an exclusion. The report by Dick Pound, the former Wada president, also calls on five middle-distance runners and five coaches to be given lifetime doping bans.
2) London 2012 ‘sabotaged’ by Russia
Delays by the IAAF and the Russian Athletics Federation meant a number of athletes competed at the London Olympics, despite abnormal blood biological passport results, according to the report. Prior to the Games, the Russian Ministry of Sport provided Wada with a list of 14 athletes with abnormal profiles identified by the IAAF. Four of these athletes were sanctioned before the Olympics but 10 had “unexplained and highly suspicious” delayed notifications and were allowed to compete. Six competed in London, two winning medals. The report reads: “As a result of this widespread inaction, the Olympic Games in London were, in a sense, sabotaged by the admission of athletes who should have not been competing.”
3) Moscow laboratory at heart of the programme
The legitimacy of Russia’s main anti-doping laboratory in Moscow, the country’s only Wada-accredited lab, has been destroyed by the report. It confirms that the lab’s director, Grigory Rodchenkov, was an “aider and abettor of doping activities” and that Dr Rodchenkov accepted and requested money in order to execute the concealment positive test results. The commission states that Vitaly Mutko, the Russian sports minister, issued direct orders to “manipulate particular samples”. The report suggests that the Wada-accreditation of the lab be revoked.
4) 1,417 samples were destroyed
The report states that Dr Rodchenkov intentionally destroyed 1,417 samples on a Saturday morning, preventing Wada from conducting follow-up analysis. He was interviewed twice by the commission and admitted to intentionally destroying the 1,417 samples to reduce any potential adverse findings from subsequent analysis by another Wada laboratory. Dr Rodchenkov destroyed the samples immediately before the arrival in Moscow of a Wada audit team and the report states that there was collusion between Dr Rodchenkov and the president of the Russian athletics federation to swap clean samples for known “dirty” samples.
5) Russian state consented in doping
The report states that the presence of Russian security services at laboratories in Moscow and Sochi – where the 2014 Winter Olympics were held – “actively imposed an atmosphere of intimidation on laboratory process and staff”. Personnel at the main laboratory described the presence of the security forces: “Last time in Sochi, we had some guys pretending to be engineers in the lab but actually they were from the federal security service, let’s call it the new KGB; FSB.”
6) Moscow’s mystery second laboratory
The independent commission discovered the existence of a second laboratory in Moscow but that “its precise use is unknown”. The Laboratory of the Moscow Committee of Sport for Identification for Prohibited Substances in Athlete Samples is controlled by the city of Moscow government and the lab director is a forensic toxicologist called Dr Giorgi Bezhanishvili. The report concludes that the second lab covered up positive doping results by destroying samples.
7) Coaches implicated in scandal
The commission recommends that Dr Sergey Nikolaevich Portugalov, the chief of the Araf medical commission, should be given a lifetime ban from sport. It also states that the following coaches should be given lifetime bans: Alexey Melnikov (a senior coach and the head endurance coach), Vladimir Kazarin (the national 800m coach), Vladimir Mokhnev (the endurance coach for distances between 1,000m and 3,000m), and Viktor Chegin (the race walking coach).
8) Five athletes should be banned for life
The commission believes five athletes should also face lifetime bans. They include: the middle-distance runner Ekaterina Poistogova, the 400m and 800m runner Anastasiya Bazdyreva, the 800m runner Mariya Savinova-Farnosova, the 1500m runner Kristina Ugarova, and the 800m runner Tatjana Myazina. All these athletes were mentioned in the ARD documentary in December 2014 but the report says a number of others should also be investigated for potential violations.
9) IAAF guilty of ‘laissez-faire’ policy
Given that the former president of the IAAF, Lamine Diack, and other senior executives are currently the subject of a criminal investigation, the independent report has not revealed all information regarding the maligned world governing body. However, the report states that the IAAF was guilty of a “laissez-faire” policy along with the Russian Anti-Doping Agency and Russian athletics federation before London 2012. The report recommends that a chief compliance officer in matters of anti-doping be appointed at the IAAF as well as an independent ombudsman, who athletes can ask for advice and assistance..
10) Scandal ‘worse’ than Wada thought
Dick Pound, who headed the commission, described the report’s findings as “worse than we thought”. The British sports minister, Tracey Crouch, wrote on Twitter: “It is an extraordinarily dark day for athletics.” The US Anti-Doping Agency said: “If Russia has created an organised scheme of state-supported doping, then they have no business being allowed to compete on the world stage. The world’s athletes deserve better, and all who love clean sport must rise up and confront this threat. We will continue to fight on behalf of all clean athletes to ensure that clear and decisive action is taken to sweep out anyone who has been involved with this scheme.”
This article was written by James Riach, for theguardian.com on Monday 9th November 2015 18.03 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010