Doping investigator ‘inundated with requests’ for more info on Russians
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) -- The Canadian lawyer who accused Russia of operating a state-run doping program is facing “a deluge of requests” for information on individual athletes implicated in his investigation.
Richard McLaren, who was commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency, issued a report that accused Russia’s sports ministry of overseeing doping among Olympic athletes in more than two dozen summer and winter sports.
The IOC rejected calls by WADA and other anti-doping bodies to ban Russia’s entire Olympic team from the Rio de Janeiro Games. Instead, the International Olympic Committee asked individual sports federations to determine which Russian athletes would be cleared to compete.
“My office has been inundated with requests for information on individual athletes,” McLaren said in a statement released late Friday from London, Ontario. “The (IOC) decision has resulted in a deluge of requests to provide information to the IFs (international federations); Russian national federations; the Russian Olympic Committee; the Russian Paralympic Committee and individual Russian athletes.”
McLaren said he has provided information to WADA that names athletes whose urine samples were part of a state-run cover-up.
“WADA in turn has shared this information with IFs,” he said.
More than 100 Russian athletes have been barred from the games so far - including the track and field team banned by the IAAF and more than 30 athletes excluded by other federations since the release of McLaren’s report. Russia’s entire weightlifting team was kicked out Friday.
Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said Friday that 272 of the country’s original 387-strong team had been approved by international sports federations to compete in Rio.
The IOC has said that any Russian athlete with a prior sanction for doping would not be allowed into the games. Anyone implicated in McLaren’s report would also be excluded, the IOC said.
McLaren said his mandate has been extended to finish the investigation and “identify any further athletes that might have benefited from such manipulation to conceal positive doping tests.”
Until now, he said, the focus of his investigation was to look into evidence of a “state-dictated program which used the Moscow and Sochi laboratories to cover up doping.”
“It has not been to establish anti-doping rule violation cases against individual athletes,” McLaren said, adding that it was not his job to process doping cases against individual athletes.
“I have, however, received a considerable amount of reliable evidence, which clearly implicates individual athletes in the state-dictated program described in the report,” he said. “That evidence includes documents supported by the testimony of confidential witnesses and in some cases additional forensic and analytical evidence from the examination of sample bottles and their contents.”
McLaren said his ongoing investigation includes developing evidence which may be used in the future to sanction individual athletes.
“At this stage, I will not release any of the specific information I currently have concerning any athletes,” he said. “To do so would compromise the ongoing investigation.”