Independent Investigation confirms Russian State manipulation of the doping control process
- WADA publishes McLaren Investigation Report
- Agency requests collective sanctions for Rio 2016 and beyond
Preamble from WADA's President, Sir Craig Reedie
Following a WADA Executive Committee meeting held today to discuss the McLaren Investigation Report, I draw your attention to the WADA media release below.
It is important to note the following:
The recommendations are made by the WADA Executive Committee with the clear understanding that WADA does not have the authority or remit in respect of entries to competitions. The Executive Committee expressed the firm wish that all responsible organizations exercise their responsibilities within their regulations and this is what is reflected in the following media release.
The WADA Executive Committee’s key recommendations based on the McLaren Investigation Report are set out below. The necessary decisions should be taken by the relevant organizations based on their own rules and regulations.
- The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) to consider, under their respective Charters, to decline entries, for Rio 2016, of all athletes submitted by the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) and the Russian Paralympic Committee.
- The International Federations (IFs) from sports implicated in the McLaren Report to consider their responsibilities under the World Anti-Doping Code (Code) as far as their Russian National Federations (NFs) are concerned.
- Russian government officials to be denied access to international competitions, including Rio 2016.
- The Russian National Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) to remain non-compliant under the Code and its staffing and independence to be further reviewed by WADA.
- The accreditation process of the WADA-accredited laboratory in Moscow (Moscow laboratory) to be stopped.
- The FIFA Ethics Committee to look into allegations concerning football and the role played by a member of its Executive Committee, Minister Vitaly Mutko.
- Professor McLaren and his team to complete their mandate provided WADA can secure the funding that would be required.
18 July 2016 – The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) announces publication of the McLaren Investigation Report (McLaren Report), which was released earlier today by Professor Richard H. McLaren during a press conference that he held, in Toronto, Canada.
On 18 May, WADA engaged Professor McLaren, as an Independent Person, to investigate allegations of Russian state manipulation of the doping control process, which were made by Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov, the former director of the WADA-accredited laboratory in Moscow. The allegations were released by CBS 60 Minutes and The New York Times on 8 and 12 May respectively.
Specifically, per the McLaren Investigation’s Terms of Reference, Professor McLaren was asked to establish the facts related to the following:
- Whether there had been manipulation of the doping control process during the 2014 Sochi Olympic and Paralympic Games, including but not limited to, acts of tampering with the samples within the WADA-accredited satellite laboratory in Sochi (Sochi laboratory) that was established for the Games.
- To identify the ‘modus operandi’ and those involved in such manipulation.
- To identify any athlete that might have benefited from such manipulation to conceal positive doping tests.
- To identify if potentially this ‘modus operandi’ was also happening within the Moscow laboratory outside the period of the 2014 Sochi Games.
- Whether there was any other evidence or information held by Dr. Rodchenkov.
Today’s 103-page Report outlines the following key findings that meet the standard of beyond
- The Moscow laboratory operated, for the protection of doped Russian athletes, within a State-dictated failsafe system, described in the Report as the Disappearing Positive Methodology.
- The Sochi laboratory operated a unique sample swapping methodology to enable doped Russian athletes to compete at the Games.
- The Ministry of Sport directed, controlled and oversaw the manipulation of athletes’ analytical results and sample swapping, with the active participation and assistance of the Federal Security Service (FSB); the Center of Sports Preparation of National Teams of Russia (CSP); and, both Moscow and Sochi laboratories.
“WADA is grateful to Richard McLaren, his team, and other contributors that, together, helped provide us with a fact-based path forward today as it relates to allegations and other information provided by Dr. Rodchenkov,” said Sir Craig Reedie, President, WADA. “Shamefully, the McLaren Report corroborates the allegations, exposing a modus operandi of serious manipulation of the doping control process in the satellite laboratory set up in Sochi for the 2014 Games; and, the Moscow laboratory since 2011 and after the Sochi Games,” Reedie continued. “Not only does the evidence implicate the Russian Ministry of Sport in running a doping system that’s sole aim was to subvert the doping control process, it also states that there was active participation and assistance of the Federal Security Service and the Center of Sports Preparation of National Teams of Russia.” he said.
“The Report also indicates the involvement of the Russian National Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA); and, shows that some of the key people involved, in particular the deputy sports minister, were members of the Russian Olympic Committee. Furthermore, the Investigation reveals that State oversight and directed control of the Moscow laboratory in processing and covering up urine samples of Russian athletes was applied to all sport disciplines whose urine samples were being analyzed by the Moscow laboratory.” said Reedie.
“The Report corroborates evidence provided by Dr. Rodchenkov, which reveals to the world of sport an extent of deliberate abuse of power and process in Russia that is totally unacceptable for all athletes, the broader sports community and the nations against which they compete,” said Reedie. “It reveals that the Russian Ministry of Sport manipulated the doping control process of the 2014 Sochi Games; the 2013 IAAF World Championships in Moscow; the 2013 World University Games in Kazan; and, put measures in place to circumvent anti-doping processes before the 2012 London Games,” he continued. “As the international Agency -- responsible for leading the collaborative, global, clean sport movement -- WADA is calling on the Sports Movement to impose the strongest possible measures to protect clean sport for Rio 2016 and beyond.”
WADA’s Executive Committee strongly regrets that there was public speculation made by certain NADOs as to the Investigation’s outcome, in the absence of the facts, in the days leading up to the Report’s publication. Today, the McLaren Report corroborates the following evidence; on which basis, WADA’s Executive Committee has come to the following conclusions. The Executive Committee strongly requests the Sports Movement to seriously consider the facts and the following sanctions:
- Given that the Russian Ministry of Sport orchestrated systematic cheating of Russian athletes to subvert the doping control process; and that, the evidence shows such subversion in 30 sports, including 20 Olympic summer sports and Paralympic sports, the presumption of innocence of athletes in these sports, and in all Russian sports, is seriously called into question.
Accordingly, WADA recommends to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) to consider, under their respective Charters, to decline entries, for Rio 2016, of all athletes submitted by the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) and the Russian Paralympic Committee. Furthermore, any exceptional entry of a Russian athlete should be considered by the IOC and IPC for participation under a neutral flag and in accordance with very strict criteria.
WADA also recommends that Russian Government officials be denied access to international competitions, including Rio 2016.
- The Investigation determined that a high number of Olympic sports, non-Olympic sports and Paralympic sports benefited from the system orchestrated by the Russian Ministry of Sport. The presumption of innocence from Russian athletes in these sports is therefore seriously called into question.
Accordingly, WADA recommends to International Federations (IFs) to consider their responsibilities under the World Anti-Doping Code as far as their Russian National Federations are concerned. (It is noted that a number of IFs have already taken steps under their rules in this regard.)
WADA’s Executive Committee urges the Russian Government to ensure that all those involved in this system be dealt with appropriately forthwith.
The Executive Committee also notes with great disappointment that, today’s Report reveals that, despite all public undertakings that were claimed by the Russian Government, they were so confident in the inability of outsiders to detect what was going on, that they operated in the same manner during the time that WADA’s 2015 Independent Commission (IC) was carrying out its investigation. This conduct shows a total disregard for the international community; and, reinforces the urgent need for true and demonstrable commitment by the Russian authorities for a change of culture.
Of note, following the release of the IC’s first Report on 8 November 2015, which exposed widespread doping in Russian Athletics, WADA immediately suspended the Moscow laboratory. The re-accreditation process will now be stopped.
“Since WADA’s Independent Commission report, senior Russian politicians have started to publicly acknowledge the existence of longstanding doping practices in Russia; and, have conceded that a significant culture change is required,” said Olivier Niggli, Director General. “The McLaren Report makes it ever more clear that such culture change needs to be cascaded from the very top in order to deliver the necessary reform that clean sport needs,” said Niggli.
“In the face of such evidence of state sponsored subversion of anti-doping processes, WADA insists upon imposition of the most serious consequences to protect clean athletes from the scourge of doping in sport,” said Reedie.
Given that there may be exceptions to the collective sanctions enumerated above, WADA is working to establish non-binding guidelines that will help the IOC, the IPC and IFs in their decision-making process. These guidelines will be made available shortly after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) issues its decision on 21 July with respect to the dispute between the ROC and the IAAF.
“RUSADA remains non-compliant despite significant effort by WADA, UK Anti-Doping (UKAD), independent experts and others,” said Niggli. “Transforming Russia’s anti-doping system and culture, to the point where it can be considered robust and trustworthy, will take more time and effort,” Niggli continued. “The McLaren Report confirms that, at a minimum, RUSADA’s return to compliance cannot be considered until all persons from the Russian Ministry of Sport and other Government Departments and Agencies that are implicated by the Report, including RUSADA, are dismissed from their roles,” Reedie added to Niggli’s remarks.
It should be noted that WADA is committed, along with UKAD and others, to work with RUSADA in their return to compliance and to ensure a more independent anti-doping program that is autonomous from government. This would be of great benefits to those Russian athletes who believe in clean sport.
Another notable finding within the Report is the role that one of FIFA’s Executive Committee members, Russian Sport Minister Vitaly Mutko, played within the system. Accordingly, WADA urges the FIFA Ethics Committee to look into the allegations concerning football and the role played by this member.
McLaren explained in his Report that, given the compressed timeline of 57 days, he did not have time to explore the third element from the Investigation’s Terms of Reference, which was "to identify any athlete that might have benefited from such manipulation to conceal positive doping tests." WADA confirms that they would like Professor McLaren and his team to complete their mandate, provided the Agency can secure the funding that would be required.
Over the coming days and weeks, WADA will continue to consider the findings of the Report, in collaboration with its stakeholders, to determine what further action is required. The Report will also be submitted to the Agency’s Independent Compliance Review Committee.
It is clear from the McLaren Report that serious abuses of the globally accepted anti-doping system have occurred. WADA is committed to reviewing the global system and will begin this process through a multi-stakeholder Think Tank that it will hold in September.
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is the international independent organization created in 1999 to promote, coordinate and monitor the fight against doping in sport in all its forms. The Agency is composed and funded equally by the sports movement and governments of the world. Its key activities include scientific research, education, development of anti-doping capacities and monitoring of the World Anti-Doping Code – the first document harmonizing regulations regarding anti-doping in all sports and all countries.