Richard McLaren attacks IOC ‘spin’ on doping

Richard McLaren, who was appointed by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to head an independent investigative team, presents his report in Toronto, Ontario, Canada July 18, 2016. REUTERS/Peter Power

Anti-doping investigation leader Richard McLaren has accused the International Olympic Committee of twisting the conclusions of his bombshell report on state-run substance abuse in Russia. The Canadian lawyer, clearly frustrated at reactions to his work, told the Guardian newspaper “people have misconstrued what went into that report, particularly the IOC and international federations.”The report issued by McLaren on July 18 said Russia’s sports ministry was helped by the secret service to manipulate Russian samples at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics and other major events in Russia.The IOC decided against a blanket ban on Russia and IOC president Thomas Bach has said the report, while “serious”, contained “allegations” against the Russian government. “I wouldn’t put anything in that report that I didn’t have evidence of and wouldn’t meet the criminal standard in any court around the world,” McLaren respondend to the Guardian.“Nothing in there is an allegation. I wouldn’t have put it in there if it didn’t meetthat standard.”attacked the “spin” that has been put on his results and said “I would like to see the debate turn to the contents of the report.”The Canadian expert is now working to finish his investigation for WADA and more details are expected in late September.‘Misinformation’ debateIOC members are not happy because his report was released just ahead of the Rio Olympics, causing serious doubts about Russia’s participation. WADA chief Craig Reedie said the interim report had to be published because of the seriousness of the details. “If you conduct a proper investigation, you don’t put the evidence out there to create misinformation,” said McLaren, who revealed he has hidden the evidence.“There is evidence and I have it secured. I haven’t turned it over to anyone. I have an ongoing investigation to complete.”“I was at the stage where I could say what I knew beyond reasonable doubt.”McLaren was also part of the WADA appointed panel led by Richard Pound that investigated Russian athletics. The International Association of Athletics Federations has since suspended Russia. He said he had not set out to try to incriminate individual athletes.“I have not done the work to drill down and see which athletes may have been doping and what they had been using.“The report was about state-sponsored doping, manipulation of results, swapping of samples, preparation of wash up schemes before London 2012.“It’s a state-run system. That’s what in the report and people seem to have completely missed that.”McLaren’s remarks will do nothing to heal the rift between the IOC and WADA with Bach all but blaming sport’s drugs police for the debacle over which Russians could compete and which could not. “We need to have an honest, factual debate about what is going on,” said McLaren.“You have the rudiments of a system that works. There have been problems with certain elements, like any machine it has parts that break down. We need to correct those and have an honest debate and discussion about how they occurred and what went wrong. Right now I think the discussion is not honest and practical, it is hysterical and political.”

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