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Attempts made to ban Russia from Rio Olympics

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) called for Russia to be completely banned from the Rio Olympics and other international sport after an investigation found rampant state-run doping at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics and other events.

An investigation by Canadian law professor Richard McLaren for WADA found the FSB secret service helped “the state-dictated failsafe system” carried out by the sports ministry and covering 30 sports.

“WADA calls on sport movement to deny Russian athletes participation at international competition including Rio until ‘culture change’ achieved,” the international anti-doping agency spokesman Ben Nichols said in a statement on Twitter.

International Olympic Committee members were to hold an emergency telephone conference on Tuesday to decide provisional sanctions over what IOC president Thomas Bach called “a shocking and unprecedented attack on the integrity of sports and on the Olympic Games.”

McLaren’s report said the cover up started in 2010 after Russia’s “abysmal” results at the Vancouver Winter Olympics and continued until 2015 after the Sochi Games.

Russia, which had strongly denied any state involvement, is already banned from international athletics by the world body, the IAAF, because of doping exposed last year.

There will no be mounting pressure for that to be extended even though Bach and some international federations have said there has to be a way for athletes proved to be clean to compete in Rio.

“The IOC will not hesitate to take the toughest sanctions available against any individual or organisation implicated,” Bach said in a statement announcing the IOC conference on Monday.

McLaren’s report said the Sports Ministry under Vitaly Mutko organised the subterfuge under which tainted urine samples were replaced and kept away from international observers.

“The Moscow laboratory operated for the protection of doped Russian athletes within a state-dictated failsafe 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. McLaren did not make any recommendations on sanctions. But the call by WADA is likely to followed up by the United States and Canadian anti-doping agencies.

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