Widespread Russian Doping, Sample Swapping Confirmed In World Anti-Doping Agency Probe

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TORONTO — The World Anti-Doping Agency's executive board wants the International Olympic Committee to ban all Russian teams from the Rio de Janeiro Olympics after an independent investigation led by a Canadian law professor confirmed widespread, state-sponsored doping across many sports.

Richard McLaren of Western University unveiled the report's findings Monday morning in Toronto.

It found evidence of organized doping from late 2011 to August 2015.

McLaren says labs in Moscow and Sochi protected Russian athletes.

russia dopingA Russian skating fan holds the country's national flag over the Olympic rings before the start of the men's 10,000-meter speedskating race during the 2014 Sochi Olympics. (Photo: AP)

According to the report, the lab at the Sochi Olympics "operated a unique sample swapping methodology'' that allowed Russian athletes to compete at the 2014 Winter Games.

The report also says that Russia's Ministry of Sport "controlled and oversaw the manipulation of athlete's analytical results or sample swapping'' with the ``active participation'' of other government bodies, including the country's security agency.

WADA commissioned the investigation following a New York Times story in May that detailed a state-run system that helped athletes get away with cheating and win medals at the Sochi Games.

McLaren says he's "supremely confident'' in the report's findings.

WADA calling for ban on Russian athletes in Rio

The report does not make any recommendations. McLaren says it's up to other sports bodies to determine the next steps.

WADA called for a complete ban of Russian athletes in Rio and also wants Russian government officials to be denied access to international competitions, including the upcoming Olympics.

The anti-doping watchdog also calls on world governing bodies of sports implicated in the inquiry report to consider action against Russian national bodies.

The IOC, meanwhile, said it "will now carefully study the complex and detailed allegations, in particular with regard to the Russian Ministry of Sport.''

"The findings of the report show a shocking and unprecedented attack on the integrity of sport and on the Olympic Games,'' IOC president Tomas Bach said in a statement. ``Therefore, the IOC will not hesitate to take the toughest sanctions available against any individual or organization implicated.''

The statement said the IOC executive board would hold a conference call to discuss immediate sanctions surrounding the Rio Olympics.

The Russian athletics team has already been banned from competing at the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro. Several national anti-doping organizations, including from Canada and the United States, were awaiting McLaren's findings to see if they would push for a total ban of the Russian team.

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