Russian state sponsored doping 'beautiful in its simplicity'

Mon Jul 18, 2016 4:10pm EDT
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By Steve Keating

TORONTO (Reuters) - A system of state sponsored doping was "beautiful in its simplicity, Richard McLaren told Reuters after releasing an explosive report on Monday that detailed widespread doping and manipulation of tests by Russian athletes and officials.

According to the World Anti-Doping Agency's independent commission report led by McLaren, Russian authorities developed a simple system that allowed a Moscow laboratory to routinely alter positive tests results to negative.

McLaren described the system as a "failsafe" last line of defense in disposing of a positive test if a doped elite athlete did not achieve protection during the sample collection and transportation process.

"It was a simple but effective and efficient method for the Deputy Minister of Sport, Yuri Nagornykh, to force the lab to report any positive finding as a negative result," explained McLaren. "Laboratory staff were under strict instructions to report all positive results to the Ministry of Sport whatever the circumstances.

"From late 2011 onwards the Ministry would be informed by a liaison person who would advise Mr. Nagornykh of every positive analytical finding in the Moscow lab, including the athletes name.

'This information was passed up the chain of command regardless for all sport disciplines.

"The order would then come back to save or quarantine."

If the order was to save, laboratory personnel would report the sample as negative to WADA and simply falsify the result in the Laboratory Information Management System.   Continued...

Richard McLaren, who was appointed by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to head an independent investigative team, walks out off the room after presenting his report in Toronto, Ontario, Canada July 18, 2016. REUTERS/Peter Power