WADA doping report recommends Russia’s suspension from athletics

WADA president Richard Pound arrives for the presentation of independent commission findings. (Getty Images)

The World Anti-Doping Agency’s independent commission regarding the athletics doping scandal has accused Russia of "systemic doping" and recommended the country's athletes are suspended from competition. The report investigated allegations that the All-Russia Athletics Federation (ARAF) engaged in cover-ups of doping, along with claims that the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) was involved.

What are the findings?

- Grigory Rodchenkov, director of Moscow’s anti-doping lab, admitted to deliberately destroying 1417 samples. The report describes him as “an aider and abettor of the doping activities.” Rodchenkov accepted and requested bribes to conceal positive test results.

- A second lab, controlled by the city of Moscow government, appeared to screen samples to destroy positive tests and pass on negative ones to the official anti-doping lab.

- The Russian Security Service (police force) and Russian State directly interfered with the anti-doping lab operations, undermining their independence. This goes against Article 4.1.8 of the World Anti-Doping code.

- Overall, the commission found evidence that the Moscow lab was involved in “a widespread cover-up of positive doping tests.”

- RUSADA (Russian National Anti-Doping Agency), the organisation responsible for managing out-of-competition doping tests, was found to give advanced notice of testing times, meaning athletes could take steps to avoid or tamper with tests. Their officers were found to routinely accept bribes.

- Coaches were involved with preventing access to athletes for testing. It is thought that the athletes chose to believe all other countries engaged in doping, or coaches encouraged them to engage in doping as a “competitive necessity” or “patriotic obligation.”

- At least two coaches were involved in trafficking banned substances.

- Liliya Shobukhova, who won the 2010 London Marathon prior to her drugs ban, claims she paid ARAF £350,000 to cover up her positive doping tests.

- The IAAF was negligent in following up suspicious blood profiles and carrying out proposed sanctions. This "widespread inaction" against Russian athletes suggests the IAAF may have been involved in a cover-up. However, the report withheld much of the IAAF chapter contents as Interpol is investigating “very serious criminal allegations” against the organisation.

- Russian athletes suspected of doping could have been prevented from competing at London 2012 had the IAAF and ARAF not had a “laissez-faire” approach to testing.

What does the report recommend?

- Russian anti-doping lab director Grigory Rodchenkov is permanently removed from his position and that the WADA accreditation of the lab is revoked.

- For the IAAF to establish Chief Compliance Officer position to monitor compliance to the World Anti-Doping Code.

- Lifetime doping bans for five athletes and five coaches.