Clouds over Olympics, the McLaren Report, part 2, points a knowing figure at Russia

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LondonSteepleQ-OlyGame12.jpgLondon 2012, photo by PhotoRun.net

RunBlogRun opines: Over a year ago, Vern Gambetta, one of the finest atheltic coaches and trainers of any generation, noted on twitter, that any athlete who is banned in 2015 should not be able to compete until after 2020. The McLaren report, a brave report, tells the sordid story that many of us worried was happening, but puts it into black and white. The Russian system in place for sports has not changed since the cold war. The late Emil Zatopek, in 1991-92 told me that Vladimir Kuts suspected he was given supplements or products that were not legal or good for him. He shared it with his friend, Emil and Emil did not dispute the fact 25 years later.

The Russian response for the past year has been full of bravado. It is quite clear, unless Russian sports fundementally changes, they will not be part of the global sports community. Unfortunately, Thomas Bach has been late to this game, as he has tried to appease Mr. Putin. FSB involement, not much of a surprise, has put Russian sports into disrepute. As one of my dear friends, a Russian coach of some four decades told me, " coaches have become lazy, fast results are key." Truth is, Russian coaching has been some of best in world, but the drug use comprimises and many think that drug make the athlete better. It is an insult to the long term coaches and programs.




LONDON (GBR): The second part of the McLaren report has revealed more than 1,000 sportspeople across 30 sports were involved in a widespread state-sponsored doping system in Russia likened to an "institutional conspiracy" by its author, informs insidethegames.biz. Richard McLaren said Russia "corrupted the London Games on an unprecedented scale, the extent of which will probably never be established" and the "systematic and centralised cover-up and manipulation of the doping control process" was in operation at several major events between 2011 and 2015, including the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014 with the report revealing that fifteen medallists submitted samples which had been tampered with. However, McLaren admitted he was unable to find any "direct evidence" between the country's doping programme and the Russian Olympic Committee.

MONACO (MON): IAAF agrees with Prof. McLaren that it is time that this manipulation stops and with this aim has been working in close cooperation with Prof. McLaren's team and WADA and continues to do so. The IAAF has been retesting samples of Russian athletes based on evidence shared by the McLaren team and three athletes are due to be sanctioned after samples from the 2007 World Championships returned adverse findings with more still to be retroactively tested. "The IAAF has a history of comprehensive testing and a strong retesting strategy with samples stored back to 2007. This has allowed us, using information shared by the McLaren team, to pursue an even more specific, intelligence-based retesting programme. Russian samples from IAAF World Championships up to and including Moscow 2013 have been, or are in the process of being, reanalysed. At this stage three further samples from Osaka 2007 have been reported as Adverse Analytical Findings and results from Daegu 2011 are due next week," said the IAAF in a statement. According to AP, 53 percent of the athletes whose cases were shared by McLaren "have already been sanctioned or are currently undergoing disciplinary proceedings."

MOSCOW (RUS): Newly appointed head of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) Yelena Isinbayeva has vowed to "prove Russia can be trusted," informs insidethegames.biz. "I know we have a very big job to restore confidence in Russia but I'm optimistic we can do it. All the previous people working for RUSADA have now left and we will work hard to prove to the world that Russia can be trusted," she said. RUSADA will meet on 15 December to discuss the latest findings in the McLaren report while the Kremlin has said it will not comment until it has thoroughly digested the report.

MOSCOW (RUS): Russia's Investigative Committee spokeswoman Svetlana Petrenko has said they have conducted searches in a number of Russian regions as part of a probe into criminal cases violating anti-doping rules, informs TASS. A number of star athletes including Tatyana Chernova, Olga Kaniskina, Anna Chicherova and Tatyana Beloborodova have all been questioned while senior officials from Russian Anti-Doping Agency, All-Russia Athletics Federation, the Russian Ministry of Sport and the Olympic Race Walking Centre have also been questioned by authorities.

MOSCOW (RUS): High jump Olympic winner 2008 Andrey Silnov has been named vice-president of the RusAF and will probably retire from high jumping in order to focus on his new responsibilites, informs Sport Express. "Combining sport with such a serious matter as working as the first vice-president won't work," he said. Head coach Yuriy Borzakovskiy has also been appointed vice-president of the organisation.

MOSCOW (RUS): RusAF president Dmitriy Shlyakhtin, who was re-elected for this position for next four years on Friday, noted that today elections were the most democratical in the federation's history. "I can say that was the true breakthrough in our athletics family since Soviet times," Shlyaktin told TASS. He also noted that next meeting between RusAF and IAAF task force group could take place even before the end of this year.

MOSCOW (RUS): Yuriy Borzakovskiy has said education is important to change the core of the system in the country, informs Sport Express. "Over the past year we have really done a great job. We have only had three positive cases from a large number of doping tests and it will be even less. Our team is holding seminars several times a month. We inform athletes and coaches on the topic. We reach out to people. We need to change the entire training structure," he said.

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