Russia Doped Its Athletes on 'Unprecedented Scale': Investigator

1K athletes in 30 sports in recent years
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 9, 2016 9:36 AM CST
Russian Doping Involved 1K Athletes, 30 Sports: Investigator
World Anti-Doping Agency investigator Richard McLaren speaks at a press conference in London on Friday.   (Jonathan Brady/PA via AP)

The Russian doping scandal just keeps getting bigger: A new report implicates 1,000 athletes in 30 sports over recent years, along with officials at various levels of government. The upshot is sure to be increased pressure to penalize Russia ahead of the 2018 Winter Games. In the report—which amplifies an earlier one in July—World Anti-Doping Agency investigator Richard McLaren lays out 1,166 "immutable facts" he says prove Russia to be guilty of an "institutional conspiracy" between 2011 and 2015, per the New York Times. This involved cheating "on an unprecedented scale" at the 2012 London Olympics, where athletes were given a "cocktail of steroids ... to beat the detection thresholds," McLaren says. The Russian Anti-Doping Agency says accusations of cheating haven't been proven, reports USA Today.

Though his initial report helped ban 30% of Russia's delegation from the Rio Games, McLaren's investigation continued. American athletes, for example, have discussed boycotting the world championships in bobsled to be held in Sochi in February over lingering concerns about doping. "Coaches and athletes have been playing on an uneven field," McLaren says, per the AP. "It's time that this stops." New evidence presented in the report shows Russian officials swapped or tampered with urine samples, including those of 15 medalists at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Samples from female athletes, for example, had male DNA. IOC's president has said he supports lifetime Olympic bans for athletes and officials involved. (More sports doping stories.)

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