‘Institutional conspiracy’ in Russia to cover up doping of 1000 athletes

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An “institutional conspiracy” on an “unprecedented scale” existed in Russia to help some 1000 of its athletes benefit from doping.

A “systematic and centralised cover up” of doping by Russia was already in place by the time of the London Olympics in 2012, according to a report.

The findings were made in an investigation by Dr Richard McLaren, commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency, into allegations of widespread doping by Russian athletes.

On Friday, Dr McLaren published the second half of his damning findings – the first half of which was published in July, alleging a “state-sponsored” doping system in Russia.

The first half of the report state-sanctioned doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Sochi Games.

Among the findings were that stored samples sent to a London laboratory for tests had been opened.

Other samples based in Moscow were found to have “disappeared”, while it was “inconceivable” that Russia’s sports minister Vitaly Mutko was unaware of the situation.

McLaren described the doping deception as “beautiful in it’s simplicity”, but his report was slammed by Russian President Vladimir Putin as political interference.

WADA then recommended Russian athletes be banned from the Rio Olympics – three weeks before they began.

An independent WADA report, published in November 2015, made similar findings about Russian doping.

Subsequently, the International Association of Athletics Federations voted to suspend the Russian athletics federation – a ban which was upheld throughout the Rio Games.

The International Olympic Committee, however ruled against a blanket ban – instead allowing individual federations to choose whether to permit Russian athletes.

Eventually, Russia took 271 athletes to the Games from an original list of 379.

Russian athletes were then banned entirely from competing at the Paralympic Games.

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