On December 9th, Richard McLaren unveiled the findings of WADA’s second investigation into state-sponsored doping conducted in Russia. According to Richard, the findings point directly towards a more disciplined and institutionalized strategy or conspiracy towards doping.
The report itself is quite exhaustive and about 144 pages long. It dives deep into the doping scandal and how it has become an institution stretching across the length and breadth of the Russian government. It discusses on the levels involved within the government and the elaborate system through which at least 1,000 sportsmen in over 30 sports were strategically and periodically doped between 2011 to 2015. “International sports competitions have for years now been unknowingly hijacked by Russians thanks to their illegal doping practices” said Mr. McLaren elaborating further on his findings and the report. Earlier, a first report was released back in July that was then distilled down for the public by the New York Times in an article showing how cover-ups and cheating formed an intricate system in Russia. However, the second report is extremely detailed as opposed to the first one.
To begin with, the report skirts around the conspiracy of Russian authorities in more depth. The FSB even makes a cameo by tampering with fool proof bottles that are used for testing. In such a statement, resides an alarming disregard for WADA policies. When sufficient clean urine was not available to remove doping markers, helping hands would provide urine from other athletes using baby bottles and even Coke bottles! To remove differences in these altered bottles and the actual ones, they often mixed in Nescafe coffee granules or salt. No wonder, the samples for women’s ice hockey team sent to WADA showed evidence of male DNA.
An internal report also shows that athletes were using inversion tables – going against advice from the advisory board.
Basically, any athlete who comes top of the list in Russia eventually winds up in this scandal either out of freewill or through coercion. After all, if they want to represent the country only the best can. And the best is selected on their willingness to participate in this nationwide scam.
The second and first report collectively provide 1100 items as evidence for this nationwide cheating system. The evidence ranges from emails, forensic reports to anonymous interviews and lab analyses.
Because of the findings, already ten Olympic athletes from Russia have lost their medals. Six from the Paralympics too had their medals rescinded and further investigation, studies could reveal many more incidents resulting in more losses for the country.
As for large sanctions on the country as a whole, there are over 500 names in total outlined by the reports and the IOC or International Olympic Committee will soon take a decision on the appropriate measures.