New Zealand's former World Anti Doping Association boss David Howman says Russia's systematic doping programme is "abhorrent" and believes the International Olympic Committee will now throw it out of the Rio Olympics.

Anti-Doping Agency calls to ban Russia from Rio Olympics

"It's a huge issue, the fact that Russia for a number of years has tried to evade their athletes being detected," Howman told The Crowd Goes Wild Breakfast on Radio Sport.

"We haven't seen anything like this since the East Germans way back in the 1970s.


"It's massive and it's extremely disturbing because of the way they got along with it for so long and in the meantime have really run a bit of a spin saying 'it's not us, it's the western world that's picking on us'. And I just find that abhorrent."

"You hope it's a one-off but the potential for people to bend rules and evade detection and so forth is something that is pretty common in our societies nowadays, whether it's in sport matters or other we need to keep our wits about us.

"What has disturbed me in this episode is the reluctance of some of the top sports administrators to accept this could be happening. Now we will have to await the reaction of those who are responsible for the Olympic Games."

Howman recently retired from a lengthy career with WADA but was at the Canada-based organisation during the investigation into Russia. He believes the International Olympic Committee will now have little choice but to stop Russia from competing at Rio.

Listen: Former Wada boss David Howman on the Crowd Goes Wild Breakfast

Howman pointed out it took whistleblowers to lift the lid on Russia's state-sponsored drugs programme.

"It's a concern, no doubt about that at all. And when the first commission tried to find more information in Russia, everybody shut up. So they got nothing out of the people there to assist the information they got from the whistleblowers. That was a bit of an indicator to that commission that things weren't as good as they should be because you would expect people to be more forthcoming if they felt there was an issue.

"I've said in the past few months, because there's been a bit of a hue and cry from those who say they are clean athletes in Russia, that they're clean and they should be allowed to compete.

"My response to that is why don't they come forward to the independent commission and give all that information on (as to) why they are clean and others are not. It's a closed society and regrettably closed societies lead to the situation we've now found.

"It's an IOC decision and I've just read a statement from them that they regard this very seriously. Well, if they do and they are really keen on protecting clean athletes, I think they'll take the right decision. If they don't, they're going to be held up and told 'well, you say you are protecting clean athletes (but) are you? Are you trying to protect a few in Russia you think might be clean or are you trying to protect the rest of the world who are clean'.

Listen: Andy Brown, Sports Integrity Initiative, on Newstalk ZB's Early Edition

"It's a big decision.

"I know (Olympics boss) Thomas Bach has said you have to be careful you don't hurt the rights of individuals. But I think the answer is the proportionality aspect. Sometimes a few have to suffer as a result of the need to protect the majority, and this might be one of those situations."