Russia’s track and field athletes are already banned from the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, and now all Russian athletes may be in jeopardy of missing the games due to new allegations made by WADA.
According to the BBC, a former anti-doping chief, Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov, is alleging that “dozens” of Russian athletes were doping at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, including at least 15 medalists. In addition, Rodchenkov is naming the Russian security service and sports ministry as being involved in the alleged doping.
For their part, Russian sports minister Vitaly Mutko called the allegations “a continuation of the information attack on Russian sport.”
Should the allegations be confirmed by an anti-doping agency report, Reuters is reporting that anti-doping agents from ten nations, including the United States and Canada, are calling for a complete ban on Russian athletes at the games.
In a leaked letter sent to the IOC by USADA CEO Travis Tygart and Canadian CEO for the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sports Paul Melia, Tygart said banning Russian athletes was the only “appropriate, and permissible course of action.”
The full anti-doping agency report is expected to be released on Monday, and chief executive of the Institute of National Anti-Doping Organizations Joseph de Pencier told The New York Times that he believed the report would implicate the Russian Delegation.
“It seems very likely that the report will confirm what will be one of the biggest doping scandals in history, implicating the Russian government in a massive conspiracy against the clean athletes of the world…“This will be a ‘watershed moment’ for clean sport.”
The Olympics in Rio start in less than three weeks on August 5.
UPDATE: The WADA report has been released, and it claims that the Russian government backed a complex and sophisticated doping program for over four years.
Produced by Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren, the report alleges that Russia covered up over 580 tests from 30 different sports, including during the 2014 Winter Olympics. At least 312 of those tests were eliminated using what McLaren referred to as “Disappearing Positive Methodology” which involved a WADA accredited laboratory reporting positive tests as negative.
The report specifically singles out Mutko, saying: “It is inconceivable that minister Mutko was not aware of the doping cover-up scheme.”