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An archive photo of the closing ceremony of the Winter Olympics held in Sochi, Russia, between 7 and 23 February, 2014.
An archive photo of the closing ceremony of the Winter Olympics held in Sochi, Russia, between 7 and 23 February, 2014.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) have issued statements expressing their dismay with the findings of an independent investigation into alleged manipulation of doping samples by Russia.

The investigation commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) found that Russia has co-ordinated and overseen widespread doping by its athletes through its anti-doping agency and sports ministry.

“The findings of the report show a shocking and unprecedented attack on the integrity of sport and the Olympic Games. Therefore, the IOC will not hesitate to take the toughest sanctions available against any individual or organisation implicated,” Thomas Bach, the president of IOC, states in a press release.

The IOC also reveals that its executive board will convene for a teleconference today to discuss its immediate response to the findings, which may include “provisional measures and sanctions with regard to the Olympic Games Rio 2016”.

Philip Craven, the president of IPC, is similarly appalled by the findings.

“We are truly shocked, appalled and deeply saddened at the extent of the state-sponsored doping programme implemented in Russia ahead of Sochi 2014. The findings of […] the report mark a very dark day for sport,” he says in a press release.

Some international anti-doping agencies have already demanded that Russia be banned altogether from the Rio Olympics. Such demands are echoed in a statement issued by the executive committee of WADA, which recommends, for example, that the IOC and IPC should consider declining entries for Rio 2016 of “all athletes submitted by the Russian Olympic Committee and the Russian Paralympic Committee”.

Thirty-five of the manipulated positive doping samples were collected from Paralympic Games between 2012 and 2015, according to the IPC.

The report was compiled by an independent task force led by Richard McLaren, a professor of law at the University of Ontario, Canada.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Andrej Isakovic – AFP / Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi