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Russian doping scandal: Moscow's secret lab at the centre of alleged athlete drug cover-up

A secret laboratory located in an industrial area 10 kilometres outside of Moscow has emerged as a key component of the systemic and widespread doping regime within Russian athletics.

An independent report prepared for the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) contains damning and explosive evidence about collusion and corruption at the highest level of Russian athletics and even implicates the Russian government.

Moscow already has a WADA-accredited laboratory. This is where athlete biological passports are tested and through registered doping control officers, the integrity of the sport is maintained.

But the report from the independent commission, chaired by former WADA boss Dick Pound, contains revelations of a second laboratory, used by Russian coaches and doctors to screen, test and develop new undetectable performance enhancing drugs designed to beat the system and deliver winners.

It is a telling fact of how deep the commitment was within the regime to cheat.
Managed by Director Grigory Rodchenkov, who has a background in forensic toxicology, the "Laboratory of the Moscow Committee of Sport" is described in the report as having an "obscure" purpose. It is funded and controlled by the State.
The report suggests that tests submitted by Russian athletes are discreetly funnelled through this second lab to analyse test samples and flag suspicious readings, before the good samples are passed onto the WADA accredited centre.
Witnesses have claimed that this laboratory is involved in the destruction and cover up of the positive tests.

The rigging of the Russian national championships by coaches and officials within the Russia Ministry of Sport was also exposed. With selected athletes allowed to run "dirty" in "green lanes", that are pre- determined to not to be tested after the race.
Evidence has been submitted suggesting that coaches told athletes all the other nations doped, instilling a culture of PED [performance enhancing drugs] use. Athletes were also briefed on the ins and outs of "wash out periods" so they could work with their coaches to undermine testing procedures.

 During training camps, Russian athletes often were registered under false names to avoid the detection of doping control officers. When they did arrive for zero-notice tests, Russian coaches lied about the whereabouts of athletes.

On one occasion, a doping control officer entered a room at a training camp in Adler, near Sochi, in May this year to discover "butterfly needles and syringes" on the floor. The phone rang and it was his coach warning him that the doping control officers had arrived.
Victor Chegin, the revered Russian race walking coach, features prominently in the report. It is recommended that he receives sanctions.

The report details the discovery of equipment at Chegin's training centre in Saransk, known to aid the practice of blood transfusions to enhance performance.

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