LONDON: More than 1,000 Russians – including Olympic medallists – benefited from a state-sponsored doping programme between 2011 and 2015, a report claims.
At least 30 sports, including football, covered up samples, the report says.
“It was a cover-up that evolved from uncontrolled chaos to an institutionalised and disciplined medal-winning conspiracy,” said the report’s author, Richard McLaren.
Lawyer McLaren said London 2012 was “corrupted on an unprecedented scale”.
The report also implicates medallists at the 2013 World Athletics Championships in Moscow, and the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
According to the report, salt and coffee were used to manipulate Russian samples.
The report added the system was refined over the course of the 2012 Olympics, 2013 Worlds and Winter Olympics to protect likely Russian medal winners.
Russia won 72 medals at the London Games, 21 of which were gold, and 33 medals at Sochi, 13 of which were gold.
McLaren’s second report added depth and supporting evidence to the initial findings published in July – that Russia operated a state-sponsored doping programme.
That first report was met with denials from Russia and calls for more proof from the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
Writing in his latest report, McLaren says: “The desire to win medals superseded their collective moral and ethical compass and Olympic values of fair play.”
He said international sports competitions had been “unknowingly hijacked by the Russians” and sports fans have been “deceived” for years.
“It is time that stops,” he added.
In a statement, Russia’s sports ministry said it would examine the report but insisted on “the absence of a state programme of support for doping sport”. It said it would “continue to fight doping from a position of zero tolerance”.
Russian MP Dmitry Svishchev, who is also the head of Russia’s Curling Federation, was quoted by Ria Novosti news agency as saying: “This is what we expected. There’s nothing new, only empty allegations against all of us. If you are Russian, you’ll get accused of every single sin.”
When asked for a reaction to those comments, McLaren said: “I would say read the report. Its findings are not challengeable. He is reacting in a vacuum because he has not read the report.”
The new report also found:
Investigators have published a searchable database of all the non-confidential evidence they have gathered.
The full report can be read here.
That was based on information received from Dr Grigory Rodchenkov, a director of the anti-doping laboratory at Sochi 2014.
He had said the Russian secret service developed ways of opening sample bottles and replacing their contents without intervention being detected.
The new report claims to have compiled clear details on exactly how the sample bottles in Sochi were tampered with.
Investigators used a tool which matched the description of one used by the FSB (Russian Federal Security Service), which leaves tiny marks and scratches when the inside of a cap is opened.
An expert was given 13 bottles, one of which had not been tampered with, which he immediately spotted.
In cases of alleged sample swapping, investigators found there were scratches and marks on the inside of the cap, along with DNA inconsistencies.
It said it would re-analyse all 254 urine samples collected from Russian athletes at Sochi 2014.
Travis Tygart, chief executive of the United States Anti-Doping Agency said the Russian Olympic Committee should be suspended, and no sporting events should be held in the country until “all the individuals who participated in the corruption are held accountable”.
The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) described the report’s findings as “unprecedented and astonishing”, adding: “They strike right at the heart of the integrity and ethics of sport.”
The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), the body that governs world athletics, said: “It is time that this manipulation stops.” It said it will take further action once it is able to examine the latest report.
Stanislav Pozdnyakov, vice-president of the Russian Olympic Committee, told state news agency R-Sport the report contains “nothing new”.
He said Russian athletes “should train calmly” for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
Igor Lebedev, deputy speaker of the Russian parliament and a member of the executive committee of the Russian Football Federation, said: “This is yet another torrent of lies, disinformation, rumours and fables.”
Natalia Gart, president of the Russian Luge Federation, said: “Where are the facts? You can say this is nothing but rubbish… I am convinced that all of our athletes are clean and the silver medals that we won at Sochi are well deserved.”
The committee says 60 athletes have so far been questioned.
Senior officials from Russia’s sports ministry, its anti-doping agency and the Russian Athletics Federation are also said to have been questioned.
On Wednesday, Russia’s anti-doping agency (Rusada) appointed former double Olympic pole vault champion Yelena Isinbayeva to chair its new board.
The move was questioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada), which said Rusada broke an agreement it would be consulted before any appointment was made.
Isinbayeva, 34, was strongly critical of Wada’s recommendation that all Russian athletes be banned from Rio 2016.
McLaren was asked whether Russians athletes could be trusted in the future.
He said: “I think the answer to that is yes but they need to reform themselves. I’ve spoken with many Russian officials since July and they are putting together a very comprehensive programme which, if implemented properly, will make a major difference.”
Wada says it will now pass evidence on Russian athletes’ doping to the relevant international sporting federations and governing bodies.
In a news conference on Thursday, IOC president Thomas Bach said the McLaren report’s findings would be taken up by two further commissions.
Only once those commissions had made their recommendations could the IOC decide what steps to take, he said.
“As soon as we have the report it will be handed over to the two commissions, who have already undertaken preparatory work,” Bach said.
“But if you ask me for my private opinion then personally if you have an athlete being part of such a manipulation system, clearly I would not like to see this person compete again.”
More on the IOC’s two commissions
In May, McLaren was tasked by Wada with investigating allegations of doping in Russia.
He published the first part of his report – stating Russia operated a state-sponsored doping programme from 2011 – in July.
As a result, Wada recommended all Russian athletes be banned from competing from the Rio 2016 Olympics and Paralympics.
But the IOC chose not to impose a blanket ban, instead leaving decisions on whether Russians could compete to individual sporting federations.
Russia eventually took 271 athletes from an original entry list of 389 competitors to August’s Olympic Games in Rio.
However, the IPC chose to ban the nation entirely from the Paralympics in September.
Last week, the IAAF decided to extend Russia’s ban from international competitions.