WATCH: Massive, state-sanctioned Russian doping scandal leads to calls for Russia to be banned from Rio Olympics. As Tess van Straaten reports, Victoria’s Olympic community says the IOC needs to send a strong message.
The revelations are stunning — and they could kick Russia out of the Rio Olympics.
“The Russian Ministry of Sport directed, controlled and oversaw the manipulation of athletes analytical results or sample swapping,” lead investigator Richard McLaren said as he presented his 97-page report in Toronto on Monday.
The report was commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency and it confirms widespread, state-sponsored doping in Russian sports.
McLaren says Russia set up a covert system, that included spies, to help its athletes get away with doping before, during, and after the Sochi Olympics.
The report also found that high-ranking officials had hundreds of positive tests recorded as negatives.
“Every single positive first screen in the Moscow lab was sent up the chain of command and an order sent back down,” says McLaren, a Canadian law professor, told reporters. “Now that has to affect every single sport across the board.”
That finding has the World Anti-Doping Agency calling on the International Olympic Committee to ban Russia from the Rio games — something Canada supports.
“I think the most appropriate response would be for the national Olympic committee to be banned,” says Paul Melia of the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport.
Victoria’s Olympic community agrees with Rio ban for Russian doping
In Victoria, where so many Canadian Olympic athletes and elite train, officials say the IOC needs to send a strong message.
“For the athletes around the world that truly do aspire for clean sport and ethics of sport and the spirit of the Olympic Games, the IOC needs to send a strong statement,” says Dr. Trent Stellingwerff of the Canadian Sport Institute in Greater Victoria. “I would fully endorse a full Russian team ban.”
Coaches and trainers say they’ve seen first-hand the negative impact doping’s had on athletes who try to win without cheating.
“How many athletes have quit the sport because they couldn’t compete?” asks Dr. Stellingwerff. “How many athletes over-trained trying to keep up to drug-inflated standards to get on teams? I know personal examples of all of those.”
And while the sports community isn’t surprised Russia covered up the doping. the sheer size of it and all the sports it covered is a shock.
The IOC is holding a teleconference tomorrow to decide how it will respond.