Doping bombshells rock WADA meeting as drug crisis deepens

Thu May 12, 2016 6:39pm EDT
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By Steve Keating

MONTREAL (Reuters) - World sport is facing an unprecedented drug crisis as yet another in a string of doping bombshells dropped at the World Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA) foundation board meeting on Thursday, shocking officials.

WADA, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and athletes were all left stunned by an explosive New York Times report that detailed widespread doping by Russia at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, including 15 medal winners.

It was all part of a dark day for anti-doping crusaders as Russia was once again in the spotlight along with Kenya, after the African nation famous for its middle and long-distance runners was declared non-compliant and now faces a possible Olympic ban.

In recent months, WADA has appeared to be losing ground in the war on performance-enhancing drugs and the agency suffered another setback on Thursday when the New York Times story landed smack in the middle of its board meeting.

Alarm bells were ringing as WADA members absorbed details of a Times report that quoted Grigory Rodchenkov, the former head of Russia's drug testing laboratory, recounting dozens of cover-ups and the disposal of tainted samples.

Reuters was unable to verify details of the Times report.

Even Dick Pound, the Canadian lawyer who helped set up the WADA and served two terms as its president, was left surprised by the scope and sophistication of the cover-up, labeling it the worst he has ever seen.

"He (Rodchenkov) knows where all the bodies are buried," Pound told Reuters. "This (Times report) is as bad as we've seen assuming what Rodchenkov says is true and he does have the knowledge of what was going on. That's pretty bad.   Continued...

A gold medal manufactured for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, is seen on display at the Adamas jewellery factory in Moscow, June 28, 2013. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin/File Photo