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US official calls Russian doping ‘mind-blowing’

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AFP  File  Vasily MaximovRussia's Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko addressing the media within the election of a new chief of Russia's athletics federation in Moscow

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) called for Russian Federation to be banned from the Rio Olympics next month and other global sport after an investigation found the FSB secret service helped a “state-dictated failsafe system” carried out by the Moscow sports ministry.

The World Anti-Doping Agency commissioned McLaren in May to investigate allegations made by the former Director of the Moscow Laboratory, Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov.

– The samples from pre-selected athletes at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, had positive tests discarded through an elaborate system the report calls Disappearing Positive Methodology (DPM).

Speaking at a news conference, McLaren said Russia had created a “state-directed” system that “allowed cheating Russian athletes to compete while using performance enhancing drugs” and that this affected “all sports”.

“I am unwaveringly confident in our report”, he said.

The WADA inquiry published Monday confirmed claims widespread doping across Russian summer and winter sports was tied to the government ministry headed by Mutko.

Federation Internationale de Football Association made no mention of Mutko in its own statement about the McLaren report and said it will ask WADA to share information about alleged cover-ups of doping in Russian soccer.

In a series of tweets, Nichols condemned what he called the “most deliberate and disturbing abuse of power ever seen in sport” while saying that the scale of the accusations across 30 sports means “there can no longer be a presumption of innocence” where Russian athletes are concerned.

– The report made no recommendations for sanctions or discipline against Russian Federation. The strategy that covered up hundreds of positive tests now has a name: The Disappearing Positive Methodology.

The World Anti-Doping Agency has recommended that Russian athletes be banned from participating in all worldwide competitions, including the upcoming 2016 Olympics and Paraolympics in Brazil.

Sports news website Sport Ekspress felt the report could have “irreversible consequences for Russia for years to come”, but popular sports website claimed the investigation was a co-ordinated anti-Russian plot.

Several athlete and anti-doping groups, including the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, were gearing up over the weekend to send letters to the International Olympic Committee urging that Russia’s entire delegation be banned from next month’s Rio Games.

Among those not in favour of a full Russian ban were leaders in gymnastics – a sport that was not among the 28 with non-reported positives.

It also called on world governing bodies of sports implicated in the report to consider action against Russian national bodies. Last week, he said if the report was as damning as expected, he would push for such a ban.

Sir Philip Craven, Bach’s counterpart at the IPC, said: “We are truly shocked, appalled and deeply saddened at the extent of the state-sponsored doping programme implemented in Russian Federation”. His team was charged by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to “determine the true facts” of the case, but nothing more, the lawyer said.

A report released Monday by the World Anti-Doping Agency has accused the Russian government of operating a doping program during the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games. It identifies Russia’s deputy sports minister, Yuri Nagornykh, as the man who chose which samples should be concealed.

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