Los Angeles - Hundreds of attempts to carry out drug tests on Russian athletes this
year have been thwarted, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) said
Wednesday, in a bombshell report issued just days before a key decision
on the country's participation at the Olympic Games.
had faced intimidation and threats from armed Russian security forces
while athletes continued to evade doping control officers with a variety
The report comes just two days before the
International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) meets in
Vienna to decide whether Russian athletes should be allowed to
participate in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
But the explosive
revelations in the WADA summary will raise fresh questions about
Russia's repeated vows to clean up its drug-tainted sporting culture in
The WADA summary said more than 736 tests between February
15 and May 29 were declined or cancelled for a variety of reasons
ranging from sample collection or athlete whereabouts.
reported receiving hostile treatment when attempting to carry out drug
tests in military cities, including intimidation and threats of
expulsion from the country.
Military cities are often given as a
place of residence by athletes seeking to avoid drug testers because of
the difficulty in gaining access to the areas, the report said.
other occasions, Russian coaches, doctors and venue staff had insisted
on taking photographs of doping control officers' accreditation cards
Other passages of the report highlighted the darkly comical lengths drug cheats would go to in an effort to avoid detection.
One track and field athlete had been caught trying to provide a urine sample using a container inserted into her body.
"When she tried to use the container it leaked onto the floor and not into the collection vessel," the report stated.
The athlete subsequently threw away the container and then attempted to bribe the doping control officer.
Other examples of obstruction occurred during an athletics event.
One athlete was seen running away from a mixed zone in an effort to avoid being taken to doping control by a chaperone.
Another athlete exited a stadium during a race and subsequently could not be found, the report said.
the Russian National Walking Championship on February 27, 15 athletes
mysteriously did not start, withdrew or were disqualified, the report
Two cyclists meanwhile came to
the attention of drug testers after it was discovered they had not been
seen at their stated "whereabouts location" for more than a year. When
they were cited for missed tests, they both retired.
incident, the entire Russian under-18 team at the Ice Hockey World
Championships were withdrawn en bloc and replaced by the under-17 team,
reportedly due to use of the banned drug meldonium.
drug which led to the recent tennis ban for Russian star Maria
Sharapova, was involved in 49 of 52 doping cases logged between February
15 and May 29.
Meanwhile at a Russian national wrestling
championship, there had been reports of a "laboratory" equipped with its
own "centrifuge and other analytical equipment", WADA said.
WADA report, which was compiled with the help of UK Anti-Doping, whose
testers went into Russia, provides further ammunition for critics who
have called for the IAAF to issue an Olympic ban when it meets this
The IAAF suspended Russia from competition in November after
an earlier WADA report which detailed a systematic doping program and
corruption by sports officials.
IAAF President Sebastian Coe has
said the ban will only be lifted if there is clear evidence of a
"verifiable change both in anti-doping practice and culture."
its bid to overturn the ban, Russia has announced a raft of reforms
including the introduction of compulsory anti-doping classes in schools
to reform attitudes toward the use of performance-enhancing drugs.
anti-doping agency RUSADA will develop a special curriculum, based on
WADA guidelines, for the 3 000 sports schools where the country's elite