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Russian Athletics To Be Targeted In 'Game-Changer' Doping Report

  • RFE/RL

A World Antidoping Agency (WADA) panel is set to unveil findings on allegations of extortion and cover-ups involving Russian doping -- a report described by one of its co-authors as exposing "a whole different scale of corruption" compared to the scandal surrounding world soccer’s governing body, FIFA.

The panel is scheduled to present the findings in Geneva on November 9, days after French authorities charged former International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) president Lamine Diack with taking more than one million euros ($1.09 million) in bribes to cover up doping cases involving Russian athletes.

"This report is going to be a real game-changer for sport," Richard McLaren, a Canadian lawyer who sits on the three-member panel, said in comments published by Western University in Canada, where he is a professor of law.

The independent panel is chaired by International Olympic Committee (IOC) veteran and former WADA president Dick Pound.

It was formed by WADA after German broadcaster ARD aired a December 2014 documentary alleging systematic doping across athletics and other summer and winter Olympic sports.

The documentary implicated officials with Russia's athletics federation, antidoping agency (RUSADA), and a WADA-accredited laboratory in Moscow in alleged bribes to cover up positive doping tests, falsify tests, and supply banned substances.

Russia's athletics federation has called the allegations "a pack of lies."

Current IAAF president Sebastian Coe told the AFP news agency in a November 8 interview that he is "shocked, angry, and largely saddened" by the allegations.

But he told Reuters that he does not support calls for Russia or other countries to be banned from IAAF competitions.

"My instinct on this issue, while we never say never, is about engagement, not isolation," Coe was quoted by the news agency as saying. "That is how you enact change."

With reporting by AP, AFP, and Reuters
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