Russia could be facing a ban from international athletic competitions, including the 2016 Summer Olympics, after an alarming discovery by an anti-doping commission. In a report released on Monday, the commission makes accusations of corruption, including state-sponsored doping, leading to Russia becoming a sports superpower.
The World Anti-Doping Agency-sponsored commission discovered a “deeply rooted culture of cheating” in Russia, one that the state was more than willing to support. The report also found what they termed a systematic failure on the part of the world governing agency, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).
One of the more notable examples of corruption the report notes occurred when 1,417 samples at a World Anti-Doping Agency-accredited anti-doping laboratory in Moscow were destroyed just before a WADA audit team arrived.
Russia’s Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko claims that there is no evidence behind accusations against the Russian Athletics Federation. He also stated that the samples that were destroyed were done so at the request of the WADA.
The revelation came just days after former IAAF president Lamine Diack was accused of hiding a Russian athlete’s doping violations. Diack’s successor, Sebastian Coe was alarmed by the scale of the revelation. He has given Russia until the end of the week to respond to the accusations before the IAAF council would discuss possible sanctions.
The report further revealed that the 2012 London Olympic Games had been effectively “sabotaged” by widespread inaction of sport’s governing bodies and national anti-doping authorities.
Dick Pound, head of the commission that released the report and former WADA president, believes that this revelation can be devastating for sports in general, leading the general public to believe that all sports are corrupt.
“For 2016, our recommendation is that the Russian Federation be suspended,” Pound said. “In fact, one of our hopes is that they will volunteer that, so that they can take the remedial work in time to make sure that Russian athletes can compete under a new framework.”