Sports

Salt and coffee used to change failed samples

Doping mastermind-turned-whistleblower Grigory Rodchenkov used salt, coffee, water and sediment to cover up the manipulation of samples, according to the McLaren report.

The former head of Moscow's main anti-doping laboratory, now in hiding in the United States, had to resort to desperate measures because of the "potential time bomb" of being found out by the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada), the report said.

Rodchenkov was an FSB intelligence agent as well as laboratory director who took charge of doping which McLaren said started in 2011 if not earlier. Part of his job was to report on Wada activities to the secret service.

The report said Russian officials started to panic about the risks of being caught in the run-up to the London Olympics which McLaren said was corrupted on an "unprecedented" scale.

Russia was anxious about the London Olympics and Rodchenkov developed a "cocktail" that would make banned substances more difficult to detect.

Wada stepped up the testing of Russian athletes from May to July 2012 and 67 samples from 56 athletes were sent to the Moscow laboratory.

McLaren said positive tests were reported to the sports ministry and false results sent to the Wada computerised system.

Rodchenkov realised he was "sitting on a potential time bomb" when Wada requested that samples meant to be stored in Moscow be sent to the Lausanne laboratory for new tests.

He knew that 10 of the samples on the list were "dirty" but had only clean urine for eight of the athletes involved.

He also added salt and coffee to put off Wada experts.

"He (Rodchenkov) altered the clean A samples either by diluting with water, adding salt, sediment or Nescafe granules when needed to match the specific gravity and appearance of the dirty B samples," McLaren said. - AFP

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