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Sports Groups Want All Russian Athletes Banned From Rio

  • VOA News

Grigory Rodchenkov, the ex-director of Russia's anti-doping agency RUSADA, told The New York Times on May 12 that he helped provide banned substances to athletes and replace drug-tainted testing samples with clean ones during the Sochi Olympics.

Grigory Rodchenkov, the ex-director of Russia's anti-doping agency RUSADA, told The New York Times on May 12 that he helped provide banned substances to athletes and replace drug-tainted testing samples with clean ones during the Sochi Olympics.

The world's athletes and anti-doping leaders have drafted a letter calling for the removal of all Russian athletes from the upcoming Olympic Games in Brazil.

The letter will be sent to Olympic officials after the results of an investigation are released about Russia's alleged state-sponsored doping program conducted by Russian officials at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

The probe was prompted after Grigory Rodchenkov, Russia's former anti-doping lab director, told The New York Times in May that he was following government orders when he covered up the widespread use of performance-enhancing drugs by dozens of athletes at the Sochi Games. The Times reported at least 15 of those athletes won medals.

Doping violations have already resulted in the exclusion of almost the entire Russian track and field team from the Rio Games. Two athletes were exempted because they went through anti-doping systems in other countries.

According to the report in The New York Times, Joseph de Pencier, the chief executive of the Institute of National Anti-Doping Organization, has asked members around the world to sign the letter.

De Pencier wrote it is "very likely" the investigation "will confirm what will be one of the biggest doping scandals in history, implicating the Russian Government in a massive conspiracy against the clean athletes of the world." He added, "This will be a 'watershed moment' for clean sport."

The results of the investigation are expected to be released Monday in Toronto.

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