IOC twisted report - doping investigator

By David Leggat

Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, toasts a glass of champagne with the International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach. Photo / AP
Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, toasts a glass of champagne with the International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach. Photo / AP

The author of the report which exposed Russian state-sponsored doping ahead of the Olympics has slammed the International Olympic Committee for misrepresenting his findings.

As a result of Canadian professor Richard McLaren's report, Russia were in danger of having their entire Games team booted out of the event once the depth and scale of the doping programme had been exposed.

Instead of the wholesale ban sought by a range of agencies and organisations around the world, the IOC opted to give those athletes who can prove they are clean the chance to compete.

The original Russian team of 387 has been trimmed to 271, according to the IOC, after a three-person panel conducted final checks on individual athletes.

However McLaren, who says the IOC did not speak to him or his team about their finding before letting Russians compete subject to certain conditions, claims the IOC has turned his conclusions on their head. "I don't want to get into a slanging match with the IOC about the way they've handled it," McLaren told the Guardian newspaper.

"I was asked to write a report to determine the facts. I did that.

McLaren took issue with the IOC and Russian officials who essentially claimed McLaren's report amounted to allegations. McLaren insisted his findings were proved beyond reasonable doubt and revealed he had supporting evidence in a secret location.

"I have the evidence, I have it secured. I have the evidence backed up by forensic analysis of databases, sample bottles, I have laboratory evidence of some of those samples.

"But if you conduct a proper investigation you don't put the evidence out there to create misinformation. I was at the stage where I could say what I knew beyond reasonable doubt.

"I wouldn't put anything in the report that I didn't have evidence and wouldn't meet the criminal standard in any court around the world. Nothing in there is an allegation."

McLaren intends revealing supplementary findings by the end of September.

He said the point that it was a state-run system seemed to have been missed by the IOC. He was never intended to identify individual offenders.

"It has been completely ignored and turned on its head and it's all about pointing blame at people and finding athletes that are doping."

On top of that, world anti-doping agency Wada is being blamed by the IOC for their handling of the crisis.

"We need to have an honest, factual debate about what is going on. Right now I think the discussion is not honest and practical, it is hysterical and political."

- NZ Herald

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