Russian athletes have attempted to bribe or run away from doping officials, while armed officers have threatened international drug testers with deportation, according to a devastating report into the country’s doping regime over the past eight months.
The World Anti-Doping Agency has released a report as the International Association of Athletics Federations, world athletics’ governing body, is poised to on Friday determine whether Russian athletes can compete in this summer’s Olympic Games.
Wada’s report, released on Wednesday, provides details of widespread non-compliance to drugs rules by Russian athletes, even after it became the first country in sporting history to be banned from competition last November because of doping offences.
In one incident, the report says an “athlete used a container inserted inside her body (presumably containing clean urine). When she tried to use the container it leaked on to the floor and not into the collection vessel. The athlete threw the container into the trash which was retrieved by [a doping official]. The athlete also tried to bribe the [doping official].”
The unidentified athlete eventually registered a positive drugs test.
In another incident, an athlete was spotted running away from an agreed waiting area before a doping official could take them away to be tested.
Wada also claims that drugs testers were “intimidated” when accessing the military locations in which some athletes are based, with armed FSB agents threatening officials with expulsion from Russia. It also states that Russian security staff caused significant delays for doping officials attempting to reach competition venues, who were then closely monitored once inside.
The Russian men’s under-18s hockey team was removed from the world championships to be replaced by the under-17s team “reportedly due to meldonium use” — a performance enhancing drug placed on the banned list at the start of this year.
Some national events were held in conflict zones, meaning that no competitors at the weightlifting and Greco-Roman wrestling championships were tested
The report analysed nearly 3,000 tests of Russian athletes conducted between November 2015, when Russia’s testing authorities were declared “non-compliant” with international doping standards, and May this year.
There were 111 “whereabouts failures” — related to rules in which athletes have to provide information on their precise location at any time, so they can be tested without notice — including 23 missed tests.
The IAAF suspended Russian athletes from international competition after a Wada probe found widespread use of banned substances among the country’s athletes and cover-ups by its sports officials. Wada has also blocked the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (Rusada) from carrying out its supervisory duties.
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