Russian doping cover-up `helped more than a thousand athletes’

first_imgBy Mitch PhillipsLONDON, England (Reuters) – More than 1 000 Russian competitors across more than 30 sports were involved in an institutional conspiracy to conceal positive drug tests as Moscow ‘hijacked international sport’ over the course of five years, an independent WADA report said yesterday.The second and final part of the report for the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) by Canadian sports lawyer Richard McLaren provided exhaustive evidence of an elaborate doping scheme sponsored by Russia’s Sports Ministry.It included switching and changing samples by opening “tamper-proof” bottles – using a method devised by the Russian secret service – and numerous other methods to bypass and cover up drugs tests.“We are now able to confirm a cover-up that dates back to at least 2011 that evolved from uncontrolled chaos to an institutionalised and disciplined medal-winning conspiracy,” McLaren told a news conference.“It was a cover-up of an unprecedented scale ….“We have evidence revealing that more than 500 positive results were reported as negative, including well-known and elite-level athletes and medal winners, who had their positive results automatically falsified.“Over 1 000 athletes competing in Summer, Winter and Paralympic sport can be identified as being involved in or benefiting from manipulations to conceal positive tests.”WADA president Craig Reedie called the report “alarming” and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said it had shown evidence of “a fundamental attack on the integrity of the Olympic Games and on sport in general”.But Russia showed no sign of accepting its conclusions.The Sports Ministry said it would study the WADA report and cooperate fully with anti-doping bodies, but “denies that any government programmes exist to support doping in sport”.“UNFOUNDED ACCUSATIONS”Track and field chief Dmitry Shlyakhtin said he had not yet seen the report, but conceded that Russian athletics’ problems “did not start yesterday”. However, he said it had now fulfilled all the demands made of it.Yelena Isinbayeva, double Olympic pole vault champion and newly-elected head of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency supervisory board, said shortly before the report was released: “It is well known to us that many foreign athletes have a history of doping but compete at an international level with no problems.“If we want to clean up world sport, let’s start … we don’t need to concentrate on just one country.”Dmitry Svishchev, a member of parliament and president of Russia’s Curling Federation, said: “We haven’t heard anything new. Unfounded accusations against us all. If you are Russian, they accuse you of all sins.”McLaren accepted that there could be widespread doping elsewhere, though not on the same level as in Russia, the sole focus of his investigation.McLaren pointed out that Russia had won 24 gold, 26 silver and 32 bronze medals at London 2012 and no Russian athlete had tested positive.“Yet the Russian team corrupted the London Games on an unprecedented scale, the extent of which will probably never be fully established,” he said.“For years, international sports competitions have unknowingly been hijacked by the Russians. Coaches and athletes have been playing on an uneven field.”The IOC on Wednesday extended provisional sanctions against Russian sport over the scandal, and an international ban on its track and field athletes remains in force pending a reform of its anti-doping programme.Yesterday, the IOC noted that it had already set up two commissions to prepare “appropriate sanctions and measures”. One of these will go beyond the scope of McLaren’s investigation and retest all the samples of Russian athletes who participated in the 2014 Winter Games, which Russia hosted in Sochi.Forensic investigations by McLaren’s team detailed how a bank of clean urine samples was kept in a Moscow laboratory, where salt and coffee were added to try to fool officials testing ‘B samples’ in supposedly tamper-proof bottles.DNA MISMATCHESThe report included cases where a doctored B sample did not match the DNA of previous specimens, and of samples that contained a mixture of male and female urine.It added that analysis of the samples from four Russians who won gold in Sochi had shown salt readings that were physiologically impossible, while there was evidence that the samples of 12 Russian Sochi medallists had been tampered with.More than 1 100 items of evidence contained in the report have been made available to the public at the website here, including details and pictures of how microscopes were used to detect the tiny scratch marks made when opening the “tamper-proof” sample bottles.Yesterday’s report provided extensive evidence to support the original July report, which said Moscow had concealed hundreds of positive doping tests ahead of the Sochi Winter Games in 2014.The IOC declined to impose a blanket ban on Russia competing in the 2016 Rio Olympics, letting international sports federations decide which athletes should be allowed to compete. Only athletics and weightlifting banned the entire Russian teams.The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) did ban Russia completely from its Rio games, however, and said yesterday the full findings of the report “strike right at the heart of the integrity and ethics of sport”.McLaren accepted that Russian authorities had taken many steps since his first report, removing officials who had been involved in the cover-up, setting up a new anti-doping commission and proposing a ‘gold standard’ doping control regime.However, when asked about the comments of Svishchev and Isinbayeva, he said: “The findings are not challengeable … my impression is that there is a certain embedded cultural aspect to what has been going on, so there probably does need to be cultural change.“That doesn’t mean change won’t occur, but it might take longer than a few months or a year.”last_img read more

Georgia Allen leads Syracuse to 1-0 win against Northeastern

first_img Published on September 2, 2018 at 4:10 pm Contact KJ: kjedelma@syr.edu | @KJEdelman After Northeastern (2-4) outshot and outperformed Syracuse (3-2) for 80 minutes on Sunday, Georgia Allen found herself open 10 yards from the net for a score. In only her second game since returning from the U20 England national team, Allen gave SU its only goal of the day en route to a 1-0 victory. The Orange started the game on the defensive. Because it could not match the speed of Northeastern early, SU was outshot by the Huskies, eight to two in the first 28 minutes.NU had its best opportunity to score in the first half off of a Mikenna McManus corner kick 24 minutes into the game. As the ball crept to the right side of the goal, the Huskies’ Eve Goulet got off a header past SU goalie Jordan Harris. A yard next to Harris, Taylor Bennett sniffed out the potential shot from the middle of the net and cleared the ball to the end line. Five minutes later, Clarke Brown twisted in the air to shoot an off-balance right-footer. While the ball was on target, NU’s Nathalie Nidetch rolled on top of the ball to keep the score leveled.SU opened the second half with a change in the net. On Thursday against Harvard, Harris was replaced after allowing three goals in the second half. Despite not allowing a goal in the first half along with two saves on Sunday, Lysianne Proulx replaced Harris. AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe Orange opened the second half on the offensive, unlike how SU had begun the game. Kate Hostage opened the second half with a 14 yarder that was caught by a diving Nidetch. Proulx made her presence known in the 60th minute when she dove right off an Emily Evangelista shot to save a near-goal. Most of the second half was dictated by both team’s backlines, but Proulx was still challenged in the net. In the 83rd minute, Allen took advantage of a mistake in the Huskies’ defense. Off a Sydney Brackett short cross, Allen found herself uncovered from 10 yards out. Allen cocked back her right leg before shooting a missile past Nidetch. As the minutes ticked and the Huskies got desperate, NU couldn’t muster a shot in the remaining time after Allen’s goal. After splitting a pair of games on the road in New England, SU will continue its five-game road trip in Happy Valley when the Orange take on Penn State on Thursday. Commentscenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more