GENEVA, Switzerland, Nov. 9 (UPI) -- World Anti-Doping Agency report released Monday says Russia should be banned from international sport, citing systematic doping of athletes.
The 335-page report of the 10-month investigation, released Monday, described a "deeply rooted culture of cheating at all levels" similar to that of East Germany in the 1970s, and recommended that Russia be suspended from international track and field events; a co-author, Richard Pound, said WADA, an independent organization, would encourage the International Olympic Committee to bar Russia's athletic federation from the upcoming 2016 Summer Olympics.
The report details the involvement of athletes, trainers, coaches, doctors and testing laboratories in concealing payments to compromise doping tests, including those undergone at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. It accused the Russian government of complicity.
"The investigation has confirmed the existence of widespread cheating through the use of doping substances and methods to ensure, or enhance the likelihood of, victory for athletes and teams. The cheating was done by the athletes' entourages, officials and the athletes themselves. Evidence of extensive doping use is supported and confirmed by audio and video evidence, scientific evidence, corroborative statements, cyber analysis and related reporting documents. Numerous statements corroborate the original allegations and further detail the extensive use of doping substances and blood doping within Russian athletics," the report reads in part.
It also notes "corruption and bribery practices at the highest levels of international athletics" and explains that the international police organization Interpol was involved in the research and will engage in further investigation.
About 12 percent of drug violations in international sport in 2013, the last year of complete statistics, involved Russian athletes, far more than from any other country. Last week French authorities announced a criminal inquiry of Lamine Diack, former chief of track and field's international governing body; Diack, of Senegal, is accused of allegedly accepting bribes to permit six Russian athletes to compete in global events which included the 2012 Summer Olympics.
The Russian Ministry of Sport has not responded to the report.
"The Russians themselves have said there are vestiges of the old Soviet system, old-guard coaches who haven't changed and can't change. The minister of sport says their way of operating is over. But read our report," commented Richard McLaren, one of the report's three co-authors.