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Findings of McLaren’s Report II and Anti- Doping Movement

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Richard McLaren, who was appointed by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to head an independent investigative team, presented his report in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on July 18, 2016. REUTERS/Peter Power

Professor Richard H. McLaren, who was appointed by WADA as the Independent Person to head an investigative team, today, detailed the findings of his mandate that was extended following Report Part I on July 18, 2016.

Prof. McLaren was charged with determining the facts with respect to the allegations of manipulation of doping control samples and other allegations made by Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov, the former Director of the WADA- accredited Moscow Laboratory.

McLaren's Report II- Key Findings

Conspiracy & Cover Up
The executive summary of the McLaren’s Report released today claims that an institutional conspiracy existed across summer and winter sports athletes who participated with Russian officials within the Ministry of Sport and its infrastructure, such as the RUSADA, CSP and the Moscow Laboratory, along with the FSB for the purposes of manipulating doping controls. The report further claims that the summer and winter sports athletes were not acting individually but within an organised infrastructure as reported on in the 1st Report.

The 151-page report goes on further with the claims that this systematic and centralised cover up and manipulation of the doping control process evolved and was refined over the course of its use at London 2012 Summer Games, Universiade Games 2013, Moscow IAAF World Championships 2013, and the Winter Games in Sochi in 2014. The evolution of the infrastructure was also spawned in response to WADA regulatory changes and surprise interventions.

Further the report establishes that the swapping of Russian athletes’ urine samples further confirmed in this 2nd Report as occurring at Sochi, did not stop at the close of the Winter Olympics. The sample swapping technique used at Sochi became a regular monthly
practice of the Moscow Laboratory in dealing with elite summer and winter athletes. Further DNA and salt testing confirms the technique, while others relied on DPM.

According to the McLaren’s Report II, the key findings of the 1st Report remain unchanged. The forensic testing,which is based on immutable facts, is conclusive. The evidence does not depend on verbal testimony to draw a conclusion. Rather, it tests the physical evidence and a conclusion is drawn from those results. The results of the forensic and laboratory analysis initiated by the IP establish that the conspiracy was perpetrated between 2011 and 2015.

The Athletes Benefited

The report, through the investigations, claims that over 1000 Russian athletes competing in summer, winter and Paralympic sport, can be identified as being involved in or benefiting from manipulations to conceal positive doping tests. Based on the information reported to
International Federations through the IP to WADA there are 600 (84%) summer athletes and 95 (16%) winter athletes.

London 2012

The report claims that fifteen Russian athlete medal winners were identified out of the 78 on the London Washout Lists. Ten of these athletes have now had their medals stripped.

2013 IAAF World Championships

4 Athletics athletes’ samples were swapped. Additional target (samples) testing is in progress.

Sochi 2014

  1. Sample swapping charges were established in the incident of 2 female Ice Hockey players’ samples which were swapped with male DNA.
  2. Tampering charges were established in original samples obtained from 2 athletes, winners of four Sochi Olympic Gold medals, and a female Silver medal winner in [sport] with physiologically impossible salt readings.
  3. Twelve medal winning athletes (including the above 3) from 44 examined samples  had scratches and marks on the inside of the caps of their B sample bottles, indicating tampering.
  4. 6 winners out of 21 Paralympic medals are found to have had their urine
    samples tampered with at Sochi.
Professor Richard H. McLaren & Independent Person led investigative team

The International Anti-Doping Agency, WADA, brought in Professor McLaren as the Independent Person on May 19, 2016. The mandate of the IP was to establish whether:

1. There has been manipulation of the doping control process during the Sochi Games,
including but not limited to, acts of tampering with the samples within the Sochi
Laboratory.
2. Identify the modus operandi and those involved in such manipulation.
3. Identify any athlete that might have benefited from those alleged manipulations to
conceal positive doping tests.
4. Identify if this Modus Operandi was also happening within Moscow Laboratory
outside the period of the Sochi Games.
5. Determine other evidence or information held by Grigory Rodchenkov.

Statements by IOC/IPC & International Federations

International Olympic Committee

The International Olympic Committee thanked Prof. McLaren and his team for the completed Independent Person (IP) Report and acknowledges the evidence produced.

Highlighting the way ahead, IOC said that it has already established two commissions to prepare the appropriate sanctions and measures:

  • An Inquiry Commission, chaired by the former President of Switzerland, Samuel Schmid.
  • A Disciplinary Commission, chaired by IOC Member Denis Oswald. Through the Disciplinary Commission, samples of all Russian athletes who participated in Sochi will be re-analysed. The re-analysis will be to establish whether there was doping or whether the samples themselves were manipulated. 11 Russian athletes have already been sanctioned by the IOC as a result of the re-analysis programme, which began prior to the Olympic Games Rio 2016 and is ongoing.

The International Olympic Committee, in the way forward, will re-analyse all 254 urine samples collected from Russian athletes at the Sochi 2014, as McLaren’s mandate did not include a full re-analysis of all these samples. All 63 blood samples collected from Russian athletes at the Sochi 2014 have already been re-analysed and were all negative.

International Paralympic Committee

The Apex Paralympic Body has thanked and appreciated Professor McLaren and his investigation team for completing their mandate and stated that the findings of the report are unprecedented and astonishing. These strike right at the heart of the integrity and ethics of sport.

Agreeing with Professor McLaren that the best course of action is to work together to fix the broken and compromised anti-doping system in Russia, the IPC recently appointed IPC Taskforce to working closely with the Russian Paralympic Committee for corrective actions.

International Association of Athletics Federations

The IAAF expressed solidarity with Prof. McLaren that this manipulation has to stop now and with this aim has been working in close cooperation with Prof. McLaren’s team and WADA and continues to do so.

IAAF, has already sanctioned (over half; 53%) or are currently undergoing disciplinary proceedings on the individual athletes that Prof. McLaren’s team have shared the information about. They will follow up on the rest as soon as they get evidences from the IP’s investigation via WADA.

Speaking about the details of the sanctions on Russian Athletes, IAAF has said in its statement that in total in 2016, 35 Russian athletes have been sanctioned or charged with an ADRV by the IAAF (not counting the meldonium cases).

Speaking about the process the IAAF President Sebastian Coe said, “The IAAF has been at the forefront of anti-doping since 1928 when we were the first international federation to prohibit doping in sport. We will continue to test intelligently, retest smartly, work collaboratively and seek swift justice. The independent Athletics Integrity Unit launching in April 2017 will give us, and clean athletes the world over, the strongest platform possible to deliver this.”

World Anti-Doping Agency

Speaking about the report, WADA President, Sir Craig Reedie said, “The McLaren Investigation, and WADA’s independent Commission that was led by Richard Pound in 2015, have successfully demonstrated the value of investigations – both as a regulatory tool and a key deterrent to doping. With the powers of investigation that were vested in WADA in the 2015 Code, the Agency became better equipped to protect clean athlete.”

Reedie, further speaking about the way ahead, added,  “2017 will see further strengthening of WADA’s Investigations function, including the January launch of its Whistleblowing Program, which will encourage athletes and others to come forward and help ensure the prosecution of ADRVs regardless of sport and country.”