Russia running systematic athletics doping programme claims German documentary

The World Anti-Doping Agency says the claims will be "fully investigated" after a Russian whistleblower claimed on TV that "99%" of the Russian Olympic team is doping

A German TV documentary has alleged that Russia are running an “East German-style” athletics doping programme.

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The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has said the claims will be “fully investigated”, after the investigative documentary broadcast claims that up to “99%” of the Russian Olympic team were using doping.

The documentary – broadcast on German TV channel Das Erste and called Geheimsache Doping – Wie Russland seine Sieger macht (Secret Doping: How Russia Makes a Winner) – included a number of whistleblowers, including former 800m runner Yuliya Rusanova and discus-thrower Evgenia Pecherina.

When asked how many of Russia’s Olympic team used performance-enhancing substances, Pecherina told journalist Hajo Seppe, “Most of them, the majority, 99%. And you can get absolutely everything.”

WADA said in a statement that it was aware of some of the allegations in the documentary. “WADA has in fact already received some information and evidence of the type exposed in the documentary,” the statement said. “All of that information has been passed to the appropriate independent body within the international federation, the IAAF. We will await the outcome of that independent body’s deliberations.”

Russia’s anti-doping organisation Rusada denied the claims made in the programme. Director Nikita Kamaev said (translated by The Guardian), “Allegations that Rusada swapped samples or accepted bribes do not correspond to reality at all.

“All athletes who make such claims have infringed with doping regulations in the past. Such people then contact journalists and tell stories. For professionals, such stories are only laughable,” he said.

Russia came top of the medals table during the Winter Olympics in Sochi 2014, but the documentary alleges that athletes have colluded with officials and doping control officers in order to hide positive doping tests.

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WADA said in response, “Insofar as the particular allegations against Russian authorities and others are concerned, these will all be carefully scrutinised and if action is warranted, WADA will take any necessary and appropriate steps under the Code.”