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Australian condemnation of Russian doping

AAP logoAAP 10/12/2016

The second McLaren report's revelations of a shocking doping conspiracy involving Russian athletes has sparked widespread condemnation by Australian Olympic administrators and athletes.

Canadian law professor Richard McLaren's seven-month inquiry into Russia's state-run doping program found damning evidence that more than 1000 athletes in excess of 30 Olympic and Paralympic sports were involved in a plot from 2011-15.

Amid an "institutionalised and disciplined medal-winning conspiracy" in Russia, the report found the athletes included competitors at the 2012 London Olympics and Paralympics and the 2014 Sochi Winter Games.

Australian Olympic Committee vice-president Ian Chesterman says the findings are deeply disappointing.

"The fact that they've had this blatant cheating program in place is enormously disturbing and I find quite disgusting," Chesterman has told the ABC.

"You are the custodian of the Olympic games, you don't own those Olympic Games and they've treated them with complete disdain (along with) the Olympic values that exist that all athletes should be operating to, and the vast majority do operate to."

Rio 2016 rowing gold medal winner Kim Brennan says the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) must get more resources and powers, and greater independence from the interests of the IOC and national sporting federations.

"WADA has some power in terms of testing of athletes but they're actually under-resourced to be able to do a better job in terms of broader corruption," she told the ABC.

"Really importantly, we want to have a culture in sport that people can watch sport and actually believe in their heroes, and believe that good performances are clean performances."

Federal Sport Minister Sussan Ley also says the second report shows WADA needs greater powers, with an obvious requirement to reassess the limits on its investigative and compliance powers.

"When WADA was set up, it was not conceived that they would ever have to meet something as systematic and organised and government-sponsored as what we have seen, so we need to meet this challenge," she said.

The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) says the latest report provides additional, detailed and conclusive evidence of state-sponsored doping in Russia.

"While some have tried to deflect the findings of the first report as mere allegations, no one can deny the additional hard facts of the second report," ASADA CEO Ben McDevitt said in a statement.

"Australians place a premium on the values of clean, fair sport and our athletes deserve to compete in conditions where integrity is at the heart of sporting events.

"Sports administrators need to better manage the inherent tension between simultaneously policing and promoting themselves.

"The McLaren report demonstrates an urgent need for global anti-doping reform, for which ASADA remains a committed and strong supporter of any measures which ensure a level playing field across the world" McDevitt said.

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