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Report: Russia falsified more than 580 positive doping tests since 2011

An independent investigation commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency to look into claims of Russian doping during the 2014 Sochi Games has confirmed that the country took part in state-sponsored cheating. Canadian law professor and sports lawyer Richard McLaren delivered the report in Toronto on Monday morning.

The investigation came after the former head of Russia’s anti-doping laboratory, Grigory Rodchenkov, alleged that he helped “dozens of athletes” dope before and during the 2014 Winter Olympics. The Games in 2014 were held in Sochi, Russia, the city with one of the two main anti-doping laboratory sites in Russia.

The report says that officials at doping labs in Russia switched dirty urine samples for clean samples. Urine sample manipulation was done to ensure that dirty athletes had the chance to compete regardless of their doping test results. From the investigation, it appears that officials at the lab were swapping samples through a hole in the wall at the doping laboratory.

McLaren refers to Russia’s doping practice as “disappearing positive methodology.” The Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport supports the banning of Russia at the upcoming Olympics. Already, the Russian track team has been banned from competing in Rio. That news came last month when WADA upheld their ban against Russian runners after a massive doping scandal among the country’s track athletes broke and was confirmed late last year.

In recent news though, it was found that at least 580 positive tests were erased between 2011 and 2015 and the report emphasizes that the country be banned from participating at the 2016 Olympics. The world championships in athletics were held in 2013 and the London Olympics were held in 2012.

But Sochi isn’t the only recent Olympics that has seen a scandal related to mass doping. As part of the past year’s doping drama, one leak of athlete data revealed that one third of the medals at the London 2012 Games were won by athletes with suspicious blood values. That news tarnished London’s reputation for being the one of the cleanest Olympics.

The international governing body for athletics (IAAF) has suspended all Russian track athletes, with one exception, from the Rio Olympics this August. As for triathlon, there’s been no talk of whether Russian triathletes will be banned from competing in Rio. The country is not known for producing top triathletes. At London 2012 they sent two men and two men. Their top-placing athlete there was Alexander Bryukhankov who placed seventh in the men’s field and is currently 63 on the WTS rankings.