Athlete evasion, tampering and restricted access among findings in a report released two days before IAAF decision on Russia’s participation at Rio Olympics

A damning 23-page update report regarding Russian testing has been published by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) just two days before a decision over Russia’s participation at the Rio Olympic Games is due to be made by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

The information in the report, collated in partnership with UK Anti-Doping (UKAD), includes testing statistics, details on Adverse Analytical Findings (AAF) and restricted access, with claims of athlete evasion and tampering with sample collection procedures.

The report states that between November 18, 2015, and May 29, 2016, a total of 2947 tests were conducted on Russian athletes across a range of sports. Of those, 1137 are said to have been in-competition tests and 1810 out-of-competition, with 655 being IAAF tests. UKAD conducted 455 tests on Russian athletes between February 15, 2016, to May 29, 2016.

Of those 455 UKAD tests, the report details that 73 tests were not collected, for example if an athlete was not available, while 736 tests requested are said to have been “declined or cancelled”.

Between February 15 and May 29 this year, 52 Adverse Analytical Findings were recorded, with 49 of those for meldonium, one for meldonium and tuaminohetane, one for stanozolol and one for nandrolone.

Specific cases, some regarding track and field athletes, were also included in the report. One track and field athlete, the report claims, “used a container inserted inside her body (presumably containing clean urine).” When she tried to use the container it is said to have leaked on to the floor and not into the collection vessel. The report added: “The athlete threw the container into the trash which was retrieved by the DCO (doping control officer). The athlete also tried to bribe the DCO. Eventually the athlete provided a sample which subsequently returned an Adverse Analytical Finding (AAF).”

Regarding athlete evasion, the report states that one athlete was seen “running away from (the) notification area/mixed zone after competing and prior to chaperone attempting notification”, while one athlete is said to have exited the stadium during her race “and could not be located”.

The report adds: “15 athletes at the Russian National Walking Championship (27 Feb) either did not start, withdrew or were disqualified – 6 of the athletes had whereabouts showing for other cities and not Sochi where the event was held.”

Military cities were often used as locations of whereabouts for athletes, the report says. “Athletes know that special permission is needed to gain access,” reads the report in part. “Reports that athletes provide this location even if they aren’t there, to deter test planning.”

Doping control officers are said to have been intimidated when accessing military cities, with “armed FSB agents” (Russian federal security service) threatening DCOs with expulsion from the country.

The full update report can be found here.

WADA stated that information in the report has been shared with the IAAF Anti-Doping Task Force, with the IAAF Council due to meet in Vienna on Friday to decide whether the suspension of the All-Russia Athletic Federation (ARAF) as an IAAF Member should be lifted in time to allow Russian athletes to compete at the Rio Olympics.

IAAF Council members had voted 22-1 in favour of Russia being provisionally suspended at a meeting on November 13, with that meeting coming after a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Independent Commission report published four days before detailed findings including a “deeply rooted culture of cheating” in Russian athletics.