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Few will ever forget Canadian cross-country skier Beckie Scott huffing and puffing her way to a bronze medal during the 2002 Olympic winter games in Salt Lake City.

And it’s not because she won the bronze, it’s primarily because she won the gold.
Scott crossed the line in third place behind two Russian skiers, Olga Danilova and runner-up Larissa Lazutina. But the Russians were found to have used a performance-enhancing drug called darbepoetin, and were subsequently disqualified.
More than two years later, Scott was finally awarded the gold. She was also, incidently, the first North American woman to win an Olympic medal in cross-country skiing.
Some countries are known to be worse than average when it comes to doping in sports. But Russia takes the cake.
Now, a lengthy report released by the World Anti-Doping Agency has some folks talking about banning Russian athletes from international events altogether.
According to The New York Times, the report found systematic collusion in which doping is actively encouraged in Russia while officials turn their backs.
“The report implicated athletes, coaches, trainers, doctors and various Russian institutions, including the country’s anti-doping agency and an accredited laboratory in Moscow that handled testing for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi,” The Times reported. “It detailed payments to conceal doping tests and arrangements by which athletes were made aware of when they would be tested, in violation of code which dictates they be spontaneous, and also the destruction of samples.”
Statistics released this summer put Russia well ahead of other countries in doping violations — 225 across 30 sports during 2013, with the largest number in track and field.
“This level of corruption attacks sport at its core,” Canadian lawyer Richard H. McLaren told The Times. McLaren was a co-author of the report along with fellow Canadian Dick Pound, founding president of the World Anti-Doping Agency.
Since the report implies corruption rising to the very top levels, the report says the Russian Federation should be held accountable.
It calls for Russia to be barred from global track and field events, and has even called on the International Olympic Committee to consider the same punitive measures.
Information for the report comes from reliable sources, including documents handed over by the international policing agency Interpol. “This is not he-said, she-said,” Pound insisted. Nonetheless, an initial statement from one Russian official declared “we have the same (doping) percentage as other countries.”
Sure. And Russia doesn’t poison its renegade spies or help breakaway rebels fight Ukrainian forces, either.
Russia already has a chronic credibility problem. These findings can only make things much, much worse.
 

And it’s not because she won the bronze, it’s primarily because she won the gold.
Scott crossed the line in third place behind two Russian skiers, Olga Danilova and runner-up Larissa Lazutina. But the Russians were found to have used a performance-enhancing drug called darbepoetin, and were subsequently disqualified.
More than two years later, Scott was finally awarded the gold. She was also, incidently, the first North American woman to win an Olympic medal in cross-country skiing.
Some countries are known to be worse than average when it comes to doping in sports. But Russia takes the cake.
Now, a lengthy report released by the World Anti-Doping Agency has some folks talking about banning Russian athletes from international events altogether.
According to The New York Times, the report found systematic collusion in which doping is actively encouraged in Russia while officials turn their backs.
“The report implicated athletes, coaches, trainers, doctors and various Russian institutions, including the country’s anti-doping agency and an accredited laboratory in Moscow that handled testing for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi,” The Times reported. “It detailed payments to conceal doping tests and arrangements by which athletes were made aware of when they would be tested, in violation of code which dictates they be spontaneous, and also the destruction of samples.”
Statistics released this summer put Russia well ahead of other countries in doping violations — 225 across 30 sports during 2013, with the largest number in track and field.
“This level of corruption attacks sport at its core,” Canadian lawyer Richard H. McLaren told The Times. McLaren was a co-author of the report along with fellow Canadian Dick Pound, founding president of the World Anti-Doping Agency.
Since the report implies corruption rising to the very top levels, the report says the Russian Federation should be held accountable.
It calls for Russia to be barred from global track and field events, and has even called on the International Olympic Committee to consider the same punitive measures.
Information for the report comes from reliable sources, including documents handed over by the international policing agency Interpol. “This is not he-said, she-said,” Pound insisted. Nonetheless, an initial statement from one Russian official declared “we have the same (doping) percentage as other countries.”
Sure. And Russia doesn’t poison its renegade spies or help breakaway rebels fight Ukrainian forces, either.
Russia already has a chronic credibility problem. These findings can only make things much, much worse.
 

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