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Athletics doping: Wada commission wants Russia ban

Russia should be banned from athletics competition, a World Anti-Doping Agency commission report has recommended.
Wada's independent commission examined allegations of doping, cover-ups, and extortion in Russian athletics, which also implicated the IAAF, the sport's world governing body.
It also wants five athletes and five coaches to get lifetime doping bans.
The report also identified "systemic failures" in the IAAF that prevent an "effective" anti-doping programme.
In addition, it states the London 2012 Olympics were "sabotaged" by the "widespread inaction" against Russian athletes with suspicious doping profiles by the IAAF and the Russian athletics federation.
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Wada commission leader Dick Pound said Russia seemed to have been running a "state-supported" doping programme.
Lord Coe, president of the International Association of Athletics Federations, said these were "dark days for the sport" and added that it faced a "long road to redemption".

What are the key findings?

The report's co-author, sports lawyer Richard McLaren, believes it shows "a different scale of corruption", even compared with the ongoing Fifa scandal, saying actual results at international athletics competitions had been changed because of cheating.
The report also:
  • Revealed many instances of inadequate testing and poor compliance around testing standards.
  • Recommended that Wada withdraw its accreditation of the Moscow laboratory as soon as possible and that its director, Grigory Rodchenko, be permanently removed from his position.
  • Found that a number of Russian athletes suspected of doping could have been prevented from competing at the London 2012 Olympics had it not been for "the collective and inexplicable laissez-faire policy" adopted by the IAAF and the Russian athletics federation.
  • Suggested that neither the Russian athletics federation (Araf) the Russian anti-doping agency (Rusada), nor the Russian Federation can be considered anti-doping code-compliant.
  • Confirmed allegations that some Russian doctors and/or laboratory personnel acted as enablers for systematic cheating along with athletics coaches.
  • Identified the intentional and malicious destruction of more than 1,400 samples by Moscow laboratory officials after receiving written notification from Wada to preserve target samples.

Which doping scandal is this?

The report was commissioned on a "very narrow mandate" to "determine the accuracy" of allegations made in a German TV documentary about Russian athletics last December.
It claimed Russian athletes paid 5% of their earnings to domestic doping officials to supply banned substances and cover up tests, while athletics' world governing body the IAAF was implicated in covering up the abuse.
The programme's claims of widespread doping were made by former Russian Anti-Doping Agency (Rusada) official Vitaly Stepanov and his wife Yulia (nee Rusanova), formerly an 800m runner who was banned for doping.
While former discus thrower Yevgeniya Pecherina said that "most, the majority, 99%" of athletes selected to represent Russia use banned substances.
Pecherina is currently serving a 10-year doping ban that is due to end in 2023. Another banned athlete, Liliya Shobukhova, who won the London Marathon in 2010 said she paid the Russian Athletics Federation 450,000 euros (£350,000) to cover up a positive doping test.
The documentary also included an undercover video purporting to show 800m runner Mariya Savinova, who won gold at the 2012 Olympics in London, admitting to using the banned steroid oxandrolone.
The commission was not asked to examine separate doping claims made in August when The Sunday Times and a German broadcaster claimed leaked blood tests from 5,000 athletes over 11 years showed an "extraordinary extent of cheating". The IAAF said the claims were "sensationalist and infuriating". Wada is investigating these claims separately.

What happens next?

It will now be down to Wada to implement the report.
Although the commission has no power to act on its findings, the report's co-author McLaren told BBC World Service he wanted to see the recommendations adopted.
"It certainly means that you have to change the governance structure significantly and probably the doping regime and how it's administered," he said.
When asked about the possibility of kicking Russia out of international competitions, Lord Coe told BBC Radio 5 live's Sportsweek on Sunday that his instinct was "engagement rather than isolation".

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