Russia 'directed' the doping of athletes a WADA report claims

WADA claim the state-sponsored doping began after the 2010 Winter Olympics

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Picture by: David Davies / PA Wire/Press Association Images

Russia has systematically covered up doping in "all sporting disciplines" since 2010, an official report has found.

The sporting ministry and the secret service "directed, controlled and oversaw" the manipulation of urine samples, the World Anti-Doping Agency said. 

The state-sponsored cheating happened after an "abysmal" medal count at the Vancouver Winter Olympics in 2010, WADA said. 

The cheating involved clean urine being frozen and switched for doped urine, often passed through secret holes in laboratories.  

"The Moscow laboratory operated, for the protection of doped Russian athletes, within a state-dictated fail-safe system," McLaren said.

"The Sochi Laboratory operated a unique sample swapping methodology to enable doped Russian athletes to compete at the Winter Olympic Games," he added.

Russia's track and field athletes are already banned from the Olympic Games in Rio, beginning this summer. The independent findings will increase pressure for all Russians - not just those in track and field events - to be banned from the games in Brazil.    

The Wada report looked primarily into Russia's conduct at the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014, but also at other world events. It was commissioned following claims made by a Russian whisteblower, former director of anti-doping Dr Grigory Rodchenkov.

He claimed that dozens of athletes, including at least 15 medallists at the 2014 Olympics, were part of an extensive state-run doping programme.