At the suggestion of Mark Chapman (Kremlin Stooge), I’ve created this post as a forum to
dismember discuss the controversial McLaren Report on an alleged state-sponsored doping program among Olympic athletes in Russia. Unfortunately, the report’s in PDF form.
Generally, I avoid making direct commentary on Russian affairs on this blog, but I’ll make an exception here and keep it short. I believe the McLaren report is deeply flawed and therefore unreliable. Here’s why:
- The report relied on the testimony of a single person, former Director of Moscow Laboratory Grigori Rodchenkov, chief culprit in the positive drug test cover-up. While it’s possible that Rodchenkov’s is truthful, it’s also possible he’s lying or misleading to redirect responsibility away from himself. Rodchenkov has admitted his involvement in urine sample swapping, design of a steroid cocktail not easily traced – he was instrumental in helping some athletes cheat the system.
- The report did not include a written submission and documents provided by a Russian authority. It also didn’t consider the counter-arguments of the Russian authorities. Mclaren says “The IP did not seek to interview persons living in the Russian Federation …. I did not seek to meet with Russian government officials and did not think it necessary.” Not necessary to speak with the Russian Ministry of Sport, which is accused of serious violations in the report? Even a faceless undergrad blogger like me understands it’s a basic standard of fairness to hear both sides of a controversy before reaching a conclusion.
- It didn’t identify individual athletes who benefited from the alleged cover-up but instead casts suspicion on the entire team, despite having a specific mandate to “Identify any athlete that might have benefited from those alleged manipulations to conceal positive doping tests.” (p. 3)
- It did not provide the source for quantitative measurements.
There are many faults with the report (and its implications) that I left out, but that’s the point of this post – to expose and discuss them.
Have at it, readers!