WADA chief finds McLaren report 'deeply troubling'

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The director general of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) found the final instalment of McLaren report "deeply troubling" and warned Russia must overcome "a number of challenges" in order to be deemed compliant.

Professor Richard McLaren on Friday concluded his investigation into allegations of doping in Russian sport by claiming that over 1000 Russian athletes across 30 sports, including football, were involved in, or benefited from, state-sponsored doping.

The Canadian lawyer reconfirmed his verdict that doping cover-ups in Russia took place on an "unprecedented scale" from at least 2011.

Over 1000 Russian athletes competing in the Olympics, Winter Olympics and Paralympic Games over the following four years were identified as being involved in, or benefiting from, manipulations to conceal positive doping tests.

Among the other accusations made by McLaren, commissioned by WADA to produce the report, was that the Russian Olympic team corrupted the 2012 Games in London on an unprecedented scale which "may never be fully established".

WADA director general Olivier Niggli reacted to McLaren's findings by saying: "Today's report represents the conclusion of the McLaren Investigation; and, yet again, more deeply troubling facts have emerged.

"While some progress has been made with RUSADA's [the Russian Anti-Doping Agency] efforts to regain compliance with the [WADA] Code, there remain a number of challenges that must be addressed before that can happen.

"RUSADA must demonstrate that its processes are truly autonomous, independent from outside interference and properly resourced for the task of protecting clean athletes both in Russia and abroad.

"Only once RUSADA, and its governing structures, has successfully demonstrated that it can achieve such independence, will athletes and the broader public regain faith in Russian sport. To this end, WADA is resolutely focused on continuing to support their efforts."

WADA president Craig Reedie said: "Once again, WADA is grateful to Richard McLaren and his team for this long and arduous effort that reconfirms institutionalised manipulation and cover-up of the doping control process in Russia.

"The report, and its evidence published today, shows the scope of subversion; and, focuses on the number of athletes that benefited over a prolonged period of time.

"It is alarming to read that 1000 Russian athletes, three quarters competing in summer, winter and Paralympic sport, can be identified as being involved in, or benefiting from, manipulations to conceal positive doping tests."