With files from Leslie Young, Global News
An independent investigation led by a Western University law professor could lead to all Russian athletes being banned from the Rio Olympics.
Richard McLaren released a detailed report into allegations of doping among Russian Olympic athletes on Monday, pushing the World Anti-Doping Agency’s executive board to call on the International Olympic Committee to ban all Russian teams. Previously, WADA had called on the IOC to specifically ban track and field athletes.
A meeting scheduled for Tuesday could result in the expulsion of all Russian athletes from the Rio games.
McLaren’s report shows evidence of a state-sponsored system of doping from late 2011 to August 2015. The report alleges that the lab at the Sochi Olympics operated a unique sample swapping methodology and that Russia’s Ministry of Sport “controlled and oversaw the manipulation of athlete’s analytical results or sample swapping” with active participation of other government bodies.
One example in the report states that during the night at the Winter Games in Sochi, dirty urine samples were passed through a “mousehole” from a lab inside the secure perimeter to a room outside the perimeter where it was then swapped with clean samples.
McLaren, a Western University law professor, was asked by the World Anti-Doping Agency to investigate allegations of widespread doping by Russian athletes. He has lots of experience in the area: he recently worked on an independent commission looking specifically into doping on Russia’s track and field team. That investigation, released in November 2015, found the “existence of widespread cheating through the use of doping substances.”
McLaren also worked with American Senator George J. Mitchell on what came to be known as the “Mitchell Report”, an independent investigation into the use of steroids and performance enhancing substances in Major League Baseball. The 2007 report found widespread illegal use of steroids in the MLB for more than a decade, and was critical of the league’s response to the issue.