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2ND LEAD Calls for Olympics ban as WADA says Russia ran state doping programme By Barry Whelan, dpa

Europe
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Berlin (dpa) - The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Monday issued a damning report on state-controlled doping in Russia which benefited athletes at summer and winter Olympics over at least a four-year period.

An investigation by WADA "independent person" Richard McLaren uncovered a state-run system of cheating in which doping samples were tampered with and positive drugs tests turned into negative results by doping laboratories.

Both the ministry of sport and the domestic intelligence service were involved in the doping programme, according to the report released in Toronto, Canada.

No explicit recommendations were made in the report on the investigation led by McLaren, a Canadian law professor.

However following its publication, WADA‘s executive committee called on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to consider barring all Russian athletes from the Rio Olympics and Paralympics.

WADA president Sir Craig Reedie said: "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."

The IOC executive board will hold a telephone conference on Tuesday to take decisions "which may include provisional measures and sanctions with regard to the Olympic Games Rio 2016," an IOC statement said.

IOC president Thomas Bach said: "The findings of the report show a shocking and unprecedented attack on the integrity of sports and on the Olympic Games.

"Therefore, the IOC will not hesitate to take the toughest sanctions available against any individual or organisation implicated."

In Moscow, Russian senior officials said the WADA report was unjustified.

Dmitry Svishchev, head of the Russian parliament‘s sports committee, told the Interfax news agency: "This is only words and speculation. Allegedly someone said something. There‘s nothing concrete. We want to hear facts and names confirmed with proof."

In its key findings, the McLaren report said the Moscow doping laboratory "operated for the protection of doped Russian athletes, within a state-dictated failsafe system."

This was described by McLaren as "the disappearing positive methodology" whereby positive doping samples were reported as negative.

"The Disappearing Positive Methodology was used as a state directed method following the very abysmal medal count by the Russian Olympic athletes participating in the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver," the report said.

On the Moscow laboratory, the report said the system of making positive tests disappear was planned and operated over a period from at least late 2011 until August 2015.

"Russian athletes from the vast majority of summer and winter Olympic sports benefited from the Disappearing Positive Methodology," the report said.

At least 643 positive doping tests on Russian athletes were entered as negative in a period between 2012 and 2015, the report said.

The tests affected athletes from some 30 sports, led by track and field (139), followed by weightlifting (117), Paralympic sports (35) and wrestling (28).

The Sochi laboratory meanwhile "operated a unique (urine) sample swapping methodology to enable doped Russian athletes to compete at the (2014 Winter) Games," it said.

Russia‘s Ministry of Sport "directed, controlled and oversaw the manipulation of athlete‘s analytical results or sample swapping, with the active participation and assistance of the (Russian domestic intelligence service) FSB, (high-performance centre) CSP, and both Moscow and Sochi Laboratories."

Chief investigator McLaren was appointed by WADA in May following allegations made by Dr Grigory Rodchenkov, the former director of the WADA-accredited Moscow laboratory, who claimed he had covered up positive doping samples from Russian athletes in Sochi with the aid of the national security services.

Rodchenkov was described as a "truthful" witness while other witness came forward on a confidential basis and have not been named.

Rodchenkov "cooperated with the investigation, agreeing to multiple interviews and providing thousands of documents electronically or in hard copy." McLaren did not interview persons living within the Russian Federation including government officials.

At least 10 national anti-doping organizations, including the United States and Canada, and more than 20 athlete groups representing Olympians from around the world had already prepared a request that the IOC ban Russia from the Olympics if the report validated Rodchenkov‘s allegations.

Athetics ruling body IAAF has already suspended Russia‘s track and field team from the Olympics after a separate investigation.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) is expected to rule on Thursday on the eligibility of 68 Russian athletes who have appealed to compete in Rio.

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