A whistle blower revealed that the Russian government supplied its athletes with performance-enhancing drugs before and during the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
Grigory Rodchenkov, Russia’s former anti-doping lab director, told The New York Times in May that he purposefully concealed the use of illicit drugs by Russian olympians. Officials for The Ministry of Sport, Tourism, and Youth Policy directed Rodchenkov to cover up the evidence, as the Russian government wanted to “win at any cost.” Following a two-month investigation, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) released a report Monday that finds these claims are true.
Richard McLaren, a Canadian lawyer who produced the report, believes “beyond a reasonable doubt” that Russia’s federal security service colluded with the state’s anti-doping agency, The Ministry of Sports, to provide illegal drugs to the Olympians.
The report is published just in time for the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to consider punishment for Russia’s Olympic emissaries before the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
The IOC expressed support for a ban on Russia’s track and field team in June.
Thomas Bach, president of the IOC, wrote an editorial in USA Today in June that reaffirmed the committee’s “proven zero tolerance policy not only with regard to individual athletes, but to all their entourage within its reach.” Any evidence of wrongdoing could result in “tough financial sanctions” or “life-long Olympic bans.”
In an era of performance-enhancing drug use, the IOC wants to reestablish the honor of the Olympics. But the oversight entity is not too eager to fully accept McLaren and WADA’s report and sever ties with Russia, a country that has long participated in the world games movement.
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