LONDON (Reuters) - An independent commission report, led by Canadian law professor and sports lawyer Richard McLaren, published on Monday revealed evidence of widespread state-sponsored doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
McLaren, who was a member of WADA’s independent commission which last year exposed widespread doping and corruption in Russian athletics, said the Russian Ministry of Sport oversaw the manipulation of athletes’ analytical results and sample swapping.
Here are some reactions from the world of sport:
“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.
“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.”
TRAVIS TYGART, CEO of US ANTI-DOPING AGENCY
“The McLaren Report has concluded, beyond a reasonable doubt, a mind-blowing level of corruption within both Russian sport and government that goes right to the field of play... and most importantly, our hearts go out to athletes from all over the world who were robbed of their Olympic dreams.
“Looking forward, we must come together as an international community — comprised of those who truly believe in the spirit of Olympism — to ensure this unprecedented level of criminality never again threatens the sports we cherish.”
“The findings of the report show a shocking and unprecedented attack on the integrity of sport and on the Olympic Games. Therefore, the IOC will not hesitate to take the toughest sanctions available against any individual or organization implicated.”
“Now we are witnessing a dangerous relapse of politics’ interference into sports. Yes, formats of such interference have changed but its essence is the same — to make sports an instrument of geopolitical pressure, of forming a negative image of countries and nations. The Olympic movement which is playing a colossal uniting role for the humankind may once again be driven to the brink of a split.
“Accusations against Russian athletes are based on the testimony of one person, a man with a scandalous reputation.
“Officials named in the Commission’s report as direct perpetrators will be temporarily suspended from their posts until the investigation is over. But prior to making the final decision on the officials’ in question, we are asking WADA to provide a more detailed and objective information.”
“There is no room for doping in sports. It is a threat to the health and lives of athletes, it is discrediting of fair sports competition.”
PHILIP CRAVEN, PRESIDENT OF THE INTERNATIONAL PARALYMPIC COMMITTEE (IPC)
“We are truly shocked, appalled and deeply saddened at the extent of the state sponsored doping program implemented in Russia ahead of Sochi 2014. The findings of the McLaren report mark a very dark day for sport.
“Once we have the further details we have requested from both parties, the IPC Governing Board will convene for a telephone conference. The Board will discuss the findings of the report and decide what relevant action needs to be taken to protect clean athletes competing in Paralympic sport.
“This may include provisional measures and sanctions with regards to the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.”
“The institutionalized and systematic doping in Russian athletics is the reason the IAAF suspended, and then upheld the suspension of, RusAF’s membership and consequently the exclusion of their athletes from international competition.”
“The McLaren Report confirms what we have stated previously: the current anti-doping system is broken and urgently requires the attention of everyone interested in protecting clean athletes.
“We look forward to working with the IOC, WADA and the entire Olympic family to address the flaws in the current system so that a uniform approach to anti-doping can be implemented and enforced around the world.
“In the meantime, we are focused on preparing Team USA to compete at the upcoming Rio Games and will rely on the IOC, WADA and the international federations to impose sanctions that are appropriate in relation to the magnitude of these offenses, and that give clean athletes some measure of comfort that they will be competing on a level playing field in Rio.”
NICOLE SAPSTEAD, CEO OF UK ANTI-DOPING
“Now is the time for the entire sporting community to come together to find a way forward and ensure that the right processes, legislation and safeguards are in place to protect the rights of all athletes to clean, fair and honest competition.”
MAX COBB PRESIDENT/CEO of U.S. BIATHLON ASSOCIATION
“At a fundamental level the Russian Olympic Committee has failed in its duty as an NOC to: ‘promote the fundamental principles and values of Olympism,’ to ‘ensure the observance of the Olympic Charter,’ as well as to ‘adopt and implement the WADA code’ in Russia. I don’t see how a delegation that have so deliberately and brutally trampled the fundamental values of sport and the Olympic movement can be welcomed at any events until there is a cultural change.”
“As usual Putin and Russians say they’re unfairly targeted and did nothing wrong. Deny, deny, deny!”
“To find out that Russian athletes have systematically cheated and been supported by those accountable for ensuring they are competing clean is a massive betrayal.
“We support the international sporting community in calling for swift action against those responsible. The IOC and IPC (International Paralympic Committee) must show their commitment to the integrity of sport by banning the whole Russian team from competing next month at the Rio Olympics and Paralympics.”
“The New Zealand Olympic Committee has a zero-tolerance approach to doping and commends the IOC for their ongoing commitment to anti-doping.
“We now look to the IOC as they consider the findings detailed overnight and balance collective responsibility with individual justice. Given the strong stance articulated... to protect clean athletes and their track record to date, we would expect the IOC to take the strongest possible steps available to them.”
“Some of my worst fears have been confirmed. There are still a number of athletes and countries that think it is acceptable to cheat.
“Personally I feel there is only one solution and that is a complete ban on Russia in Rio. The evidence seems to suggest it is too widespread to say it’s a few bad eggs, It is systematic.
“The message needs to be sent that this type of behavior won’t be tolerated.”
Reporting by Martyn Herman/Gene Cherry/Greg Stutchbury, editing by Pritha Sarkar and Ken Ferris