Doping: Athletes braced for bombshell from McLaren report

Thu Dec 8, 2016 1:48pm EST
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By Steve Keating

(Reuters) - Frustrated athletes will be watching Friday's release of the McLaren report into doping in Russia and are ready to take action if their voices are not heard, said United States Anti-Doping Agency head Travis Tygart.

"There is some discussion about not participating in competitions," Tygart told Reuters. "That conversation is obviously a last resort but what's clear is that the athletes voices aren't being heard by the power groups.

"They are absolutely watching. They are not going to stand for lack of action.

"Where that will ultimately lead them is up to them but their voice has to be heard and that is why you have seen them come together like never before."

After a year of scandal Olympic athletes, federations and officials are braced for another bombshell with Canadian law professor Richard McLaren poised to release the second part of an investigation commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

The much anticipated report is expected to provide more details on an elaborate state-sponsored doping scheme operated by Russia at the 2014 Sochi Olympics that McLaren outlined in his original report in July that led to a partial ban of Russian athletes competing in Rio.

While WADA and the International Olympic Committee engaged in finger-pointing and sniping over who was responsible for the crisis, athlete outrage reached a boiling point over what they view as inaction by both bodies.

U.S. athletes, according to report in the New York Times on Sunday, are considering boycotting February's bobsleigh and skeleton world championships set for Sochi citing concerns about doping control, personal safety and information security.   Continued...

The gold medal for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi is seen on display during a presentation in St. Petersburg May 30, 2013. REUTERS/Alexander Demianchuk