The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) acknowledges the findings outlined by the McLaren Investigation Report Part II, which was released earlier today by Professor Richard H. McLaren during a press conference that he held in London, England. Report Part II reconfirms institutionalized manipulation of the doping control process in Russia, which was first exposed via Report I released on 18 July 2016 and; focusses on the number of athletes that benefited from such manipulation. The Report Part II is accompanied by an Evidentiary Disclosure Package (EDP) Website, which contains non-confidential evidence that the Investigation team examined.
On 18 May, WADA engaged Professor McLaren as an Independent Person (IP) to investigate allegations of manipulation made by Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov, the former director of the WADA-accredited laboratory in Moscow. 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 Winter 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.
Given that Professor McLaren was only granted 57 days to conduct his investigation in advance of the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; on 24 July, it was announced that his mandate would be extended to complete number 3 above — ‘to identify athletes that might have benefited from manipulation of the doping control process to conceal positive doping tests’. As was the case with Part I, this included but was not limited to the 2014 Sochi Games.
Today’s 144-page Report Part II outlines the following key findings (as extracted from the Report):
Institutionalised Doping Conspiracy and Cover Up
- An institutional conspiracy existed across summer and winter sports athletes who participated with Russian officials within the Ministry of Sport and its infrastructure, such as the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA), the Center of Sports Preparation of National Teams of Russia (CSP), the Moscow Laboratory, along with the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), for the purposes of manipulating doping controls. The summer and winter sports athletes were not acting individually but within an organised infrastructure as reported on in the 1st Report.
- This systematic and centralized cover up and manipulation of the doping control process evolved and was refined over the course of its use at the London 2012 Summer Games, the Universiade Games 2013, the Moscow IAAF World Championships 2013, and the Winter Games in Sochi in 2014. The evolution of the infrastructure was also spawned in response to WADA regulatory changes and surprise interventions.
- The swapping of Russian athletes’ urine samples further confirmed in this 2nd Report as occurring at Sochi, did not stop at the close of the Winter Olympics. The sample swapping technique used at Sochi became a regular monthly practice of the Moscow Laboratory in dealing with elite summer and winter athletes. Further DNA and salt testing confirms the technique, while others relied on the Disappearing Positive Methodology (DPM).
- The key findings of the 1st Report remain unchanged. The forensic testing, which is based on immutable facts, is conclusive. The evidence does not depend on verbal testimony to draw a conclusion. Rather, it tests the physical evidence and a conclusion is drawn from those results. The results of the forensic and laboratory analysis initiated by the IP establish that the conspiracy was perpetrated between 2011 and 2015.
The Athlete Part of Conspiracy and Cover Up
- Over 1000 Russian athletes competing in summer, winter and Paralympic sport, can be identified as being involved in or benefiting from manipulations to conceal positive doping tests. Based on the information reported to International Federations (IFs) through the IP to WADA there are 600 (84%) summer athletes and 95 (16%) winter athletes.
London Summer Olympic Games
- Fifteen Russian athlete medal winners were identified out of the 78 on the London Washout Lists. Ten of these athletes have now had their medals stripped.
IAAF Moscow World Championships
- Following the 2013 IAAF Moscow World Championships, 4 athletics athletes’ samples were swapped. Additional target testing is in progress.
Sochi Winter Olympic Games
- Sample swapping is established by 2 female ice hockey players’ samples with male DNA.
- Tampering with original sample established by 2 [sport] athletes, winners of four Sochi Olympic Gold medals, and a female Silver medal winner in [sport] with physiologically impossible salt readings.
- Twelve medal winning athletes (including the above 3) from 44 examined samples had scratches and marks on the inside of the caps of their B sample bottles, indicating tampering.
- Six winners of 21 Paralympic medals are found to have had their urine samples tampered with at Sochi.
“Once again, WADA is grateful to Richard McLaren and his team for this long and arduous effort that reconfirms institutionalized manipulation and cover up of the doping control process in Russia,” said WADA President, Sir Craig Reedie. “The Report, and its evidence published today, shows the scope of subversion; and, focusses on the number of athletes that benefited over a prolonged period of time,” Reedie continued. “It is alarming to read that 1,000 Russian athletes — competing in summer, winter and Paralympic sport — can be identified as being involved in, or benefiting from, manipulations to conceal positive doping tests.”
This evidence, which is described by the Investigation Team as being ‘based on immutable facts’ will be of immediate value to the IFs, the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and other organizations — those that are responsible for the Results Management and Adjudication process related to potential anti-doping rule violations (ADRVs) under the World Anti-Doping Code (Code).
In terms of next steps, the Investigation Team is providing WADA with an Evidentiary Summary for each athlete referred to in the Report by alpha-numeric code. Starting today, WADA will provide these Summaries to all IFs whose athletes are mentioned within the Report; as well as, to the IOC, the IPC and other relevant organizations. Once in possession of these Summaries, these organizations will be responsible for reviewing the evidence available for each case; and, for determining whether or not there are sufficient elements to pursue ADRVs or, whether further investigations are required. As is a requirement of the Code, WADA will monitor the Results Management that will be carried out by the relevant authorities.
“Today’s Report represents the conclusion of the McLaren Investigation; and, yet again, more deeply troubling facts have emerged,” said Olivier Niggli, Director General, WADA. “While some progress has been made with RUSADA’s efforts to regain compliance with the Code, there remain a number of challenges that must be addressed before that can happen,” he said. “RUSADA must demonstrate that its processes are truly autonomous, independent from outside interference and properly resourced for the task of protecting clean athletes both in Russia and abroad,” he continued. “Only once RUSADA, and its governing structures, has successfully demonstrated that it can achieve such independence, will athletes and the broader public regain faith in Russian sport. To this end, WADA is resolutely focused on continuing to support their efforts.”
“The McLaren Investigation, and WADA’s independent Commission that was led by Richard Pound in 2015, have successfully demonstrated the value of investigations – both as a regulatory tool and a key deterrent to doping,” said Reedie. “With the powers of investigation that were vested in WADA in the 2015 Code, the Agency became better equipped to protect clean athletes,” Reedie added. “2017 will see further strengthening of WADA’s Investigations function, including the January launch of its Whistleblowing Program, which will encourage athletes and others to come forward and help ensure the prosecution of ADRVs regardless of sport and country.”