MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On Tuesday, The New York Times reported that WADA agreed to clear 95 of 96 Russian athletes allegedly involved in a doping scheme, whose cases had been reviewed by the organization.
"The available evidence was insufficient to support assertion of an ADRV [Anti-Doping Rule Violation] against these 95 athletes. In addition, Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov, who is an important witness that can support the findings of the IP [Independent Person] report, is unavailable to testify due to circumstance beyond WADA or the IP Team's control," an excerpt of an internal report published by The New York Times on Tuesday said.
The news outlet, meanwhile, added citing Rodchenkov's lawyer that the informant "has been willing to cooperate."
None of the 1,000 Russian athletes mentioned in the report by Richard McLaren, the head of the World Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA) independent commission, has been found guilty, which suggests the incomplete nature of information the report is based on or its unreliability, the first vice president of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) said Wednesday.
"First and foremost, the information from the McLaren report is incomplete and in several cases it is also unreliable. This is the reason causing such decisions as the one made [yesterday]. As of September 6, 2017, none of the 1,000 Russian athletes mentioned in the McLaren report has been found guilty and has not been disqualified on the ground of the provided information, even though a year has passed," Stanislav Pozdnyakov told R-Sport.
The official added that the ROC had been considering every case mentioned in the report, however after analyzing the results of these activities the international sports federations either refused to initiate cases against the Russian athletes or to close the cases due to lack of evidence.
In 2015, WADA accused Russia of multiple anti-doping violations and suspended the Moscow laboratory of RUSADA, the Russian National Anti-Doping Agency.
In May 2016, US media reported citing Rodchenkov that dozens of Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, including at least 15 medal winners, were doping throughout the Games as part of a "state-run program." WADA launched a probe into the claims, with Richard McLaren, who has already investigated reports of Russian athletes doping, in charge of the probe.
Later in the year, McLaren presented a two-part report on anti-doping violations in Russia, which alleged the existence of state-supported doping system.
A number of Russian officials, including President Vladimir Putin and Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov denied the accusations, while admitting that Russian sports did have some doping-related issues.