Montreal - The
International Olympic Committee (IOC) is holding emergency talks
on Tuesday to decide Russia's status for the Rio Olympics after an
investigation found rampant state-run doping at the 2014 Sochi Winter
Games and other events.
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) called for all Russian
competitors and officials to be banned from next month's Games and other
events after the report unveiled what IOC president Thomas Bach called
"a shocking and unprecedented attack on the integrity of sports and on
the Olympic Games."
A probe by Canadian law professor Richard McLaren for WADA found
Russia's secret service helped "the state-dictated failsafe system"
carried out by the Moscow sports ministry and sprawling into 30 sports
over five years.
"The scale of what was happening requires Russia be banned from the
Olympics and Paralympics," said British IOC athletes commission member
When asked if no ban imposed could mark the beginning of the end of
the IOC, former skeleton competitor Pengilly replied, "it certainly has
WADA's executive committee said the IOC and the International
Paralympics Committee should "decline entries, for Rio 2016, of all
athletes submitted by the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) and the
Russian Paralympic Committee."
It also called for Russian officials implicated in the scandal to be
sacked and for "Russian government officials to be denied access to
international competitions, including Rio 2016."
McLaren said the coverup started in 2010 after Russia's "abysmal"
results at the Vancouver Winter Olympics and continued until 2015 after
the Sochi Games. It included the 2013 World Athletics Championships in
Moscow and 2013 World University Games in Kazan.
President Vladimir Putin made the Sochi Games a showcase event and spent more than $50 billion staging the Games.
Russia, which strongly denies any state involvement in doping, is
already banned from international athletics by world governing body IAAF
because of doping exposed last year.
There will be mounting pressure for that to be extended, even though
Bach and some international federations have called for a way for
Russian athletes proved to be clean to compete in Rio.
"The IOC will not hesitate to take the toughest sanctions available
against any individual or organization implicated," Bach said in a
statement announcing the IOC conference on Tuesday to consider
McLaren's bombshell report
said the sports ministry under Vitaly Mutko organized the subterfuge
under which tainted urine samples were replaced and kept away from
"The Moscow laboratory operated for the protection of doped Russian
athletes within a state-dictated failsafe system," McLaren said.
"The Sochi laboratory operated a unique sample-swapping methodology
to enable doped Russian athletes to compete at the Winter Olympic
Games," he added.
According to the report, "the Ministry of Sport directed, controlled
and oversaw the manipulation of athletes' analytical results or sample
It pointed to "the active participation" and assistance of the FSB
federal security service, athletes training groups and the Moscow and
With the Rio Games due to start August 5, US Olympic Committee chief
executive Scott Blackmun said the IOC, WADA and world governing bodies
must "impose sanctions that are appropriate in relation to the magnitude
of these offenses and give clean athletes some measure of comfort they
will be competing on a level playing field in Rio."
WADA president Craig Reedie said Russia must sack government officials implicated in the wide-ranging doping scheme.
The Kremlin said officials named in the report would be suspended,
but also denounced the "dangerous" interference of politics in sport. It
did not say which officials would be affected.
However, Mutko and his deputy Yury Nagornykh were among those named in the report.
Russian media appeared resigned to a blanket ban in Rio.
"The WADA report makes Russia's disqualification very probable," the
Kommersant newspaper suggested, while Gazeta.ru headlined their story
"why Russia has already lost the Games".
In China, the state-run Global Times took the view that "Banning Russia will tarnish Olympic spirit".
For Germany's best-selling Bild "Putin's state-doping is proven".
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung described the Sochi 2014 doping scandal
as: "Hospitality the Russian way".
An editorial in Spain's El Mundo backed a Rio ban - "State doping in Russia deserves an exemplary punishment" it wrote.
In the United States, the Wall Street Journal's website ran with
"Olympic doping just part of sick spectacle". The Los Angeles Times told
its readers: "IOC on the verge of historic vote to ban Russia from the
Britain's Sun tabloid headlined its sports section with: "'Urine Big Trouble - Russia on the verge of blanket Games ban".
The Times front page took a similar line: "Russia faces Olympic ban as doping scandal grows".
US Anti-Doping Agency chief executive Travis Tygart said the report
had revealed "a mind-blowing level of corruption" in Russian sport and
all the way up to Putin's government.
WADA mandated McLaren to investigate allegations made by former
Moscow anti-doping laboratory director Grigory Rodchenkov in May - he
is now in hiding in the United States and wanted by Russian authorities.
Rodchenkov said the doping program was "working like a Swiss watch"
at Sochi and helped at least 15 Russian medalists avoid doping
McLaren insisted that he was "supremely confident" in the findings of
the inquiry, even though "we've had a very intense 57 days."