Road To The Olympic Games

Rio Olympic 2016

Canadian Olympians sound off on latest Russian doping report

After the latest WADA report about Russian state-sponsored doping, Canadian Olympic athletes shared their thoughts and opinions on the matter.

WADA wants all Russian athletes banned from Rio

While Russians celebrated their country's role as host of the 2014 Sochi Olympics, its government was deeply involved in a state-sponsored doping program for its athletes, according to a new report. (Mark Humphrey/AP Photo)

By Caroline Szwed

In 1984, Russia — then the Soviet Union — chose not to participate in the Olympics. 

Thirty-two years later, it's likely the choice to participate in Rio won't be theirs.

The latest report by WADA confirms that Moscow's anti-doping laboratory was directed by government officials to either "send through" or "hold back" positive samples. During a three-year period between 2012 and 2015, a total of 643 positive doping tests were covered up by a Russian state-sponsored doping program.

The evidence of the report went beyond athletics. While some are asking what sports were affected by Russian state-sponsored doping, the real question might be which ones weren't.


Star kayaker Adam van Koeverden said the scope of authorities' alleged involvement in the doping program, which according to the investigation includes the Russian Federal Security Service, is "ridiculous."

"Can you imagine if CSIS was involved in trying to win a water polo tournament, how ridiculous it would seem in Canada?" said the Olympic gold medallist. "Don't they have better things to do?"


Canadian Beckie Scott, chair of the WADA Athlete Commission, called the reports "shocking."

"We feel a little bit vindicated today because we have been calling for this report since last November when the first allegations of doping in Russia surfaced," Scott said on a conference call. "We as a committee were very upset to read about the unprecedented levels of doping, and the undermining and subversion of Olympic values that was taking place."

Scott was awarded a gold medal in cross-country skiing at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games after the two athletes who finished ahead of her were disqualified for doping.

Canadian race walker Inaki Gomez said the investigation should be cause for authorities to think twice about allowing Russia to host future sports events.

"There needs to be some sort of repercussions for this sort of behaviour," he said. "We can't trust them for future events."

Russia is slated to host the next soccer World Cup in 2018.


Gomez's race walking teammate Evan Dunfee also had a lot to say about the report, and shared the following video:


While the rest of the sports world found out how the violations occurred.


After the report was made public, WADA recommended that the International Olympic Committee and the International Paralympic Committee ban all Russian athletes from the upcoming Rio 2016 Olympic Games. 

Star hockey player Hayley Wickenheiser, a member of the IOC Athletes' Commission, felt "a lot of vindication" from the report's release.

"It's definitely a sad day for sport but possibly the biggest turning point for sport," she said.

The IOC's executive board will discuss the matter on a conference call on Tuesday, leaving one question: Should all Russian athletes be banned from Rio 2016?

Have your say on the issue by voting in our poll:


with files from Canadian Press

now