Russian Doping Update: WADA Clears 95 Athletes


Russian Doping Update: WADA Clears 95 Athletes

Earlier this month, the World Anti-Doping Agency cleared 95 Russian athletes whose cases were being reviewed following the “Russian doping scandal”. Speaking on the recent developments, WADA’s director general Olivier Niggli told The New York Times:

“The available evidence was insufficient to support the assertion of an antidoping rule violation against these 95 athletes. The system was very well organized. On top if it, years after the fact, the remaining evidence is often very limited.”
The charges are being dropped primarily because the accusations relied heavily on testimony from Grigory Rodchenkov, former head of Moscow’s anti-doping laboratory. Unfortunately, he was not able to testify during the review because he’s currently in Witness Protection fearing reprisal. Sources says his family in Russia have now had their passports revoked and most of their assets seized. According to The Moscow Times: “[Rodchenkov’s] absence contributed to WADA’s decision that ‘the available evidence was insufficient to support the assertion of an ADRV (anti-doping rule violation) against these 95 athletes’.”
Russian officials have repeatedly claimed they’re being unfairly targeted. They have their own legal actions pending, including a case open against Rodchenkov for “abuse of office“, and a lawsuit by three Russian cyclists which claims Richard McLaren and WADA “unfairly implicated” them in the scandal.
Richard McLaren, the same individual who was brought in to examine the steroid problem in professional baseball, was commissioned by WADA officials in Toronto to investigate accusations against Russia. Following his research, McLaren concluded that, among other things:
“An institutional conspiracy existed across summer and winter sports athletes who participated with Russian officials… along with the FSB for the purposes of manipulating doping controls… This systematic and centralised cover up and manipulation of the doping control process evolved and was refined over the course of its use at London 2012 Summer Games, Universiade Games 2013, Moscow IAAF World Championships 2013, and the Winter Games in Sochi in 2014… Over 1000 Russian athletes competing in summer, winter and Paralympic sport, can be identified as being involved in or benefiting from manipulations to conceal positive doping tests.”
You can track all the developments in the case by reading our work at: sports.politicususa.com/tag/wada
[Photo via Kremlin.ru]