Disgraceful state-sponsored doping must stop immediately, says rapporteur

PACE rapporteur Mogens Jensen (Denmark, SOC) today responded to the publication of the independent investigative report by Professor Richard H. McLaren to the World Anti-Doping Agency on 9 December, the International Anti-Corruption Day: “The report is a testimony of the current crisis in international sports, and I commend Professor McLaren for his thorough and courageous work. It gives clear evidence of the systematic violation of anti-doping rules by Russian sports organisations and indeed the Russian government”.

“Large-scale match-fixing operations by organised crime and state-sponsored doping of athletes are the major challenges to the integrity of sport today. Both phenomena degenerate sports events into fake spectacles in which athletes become mere objects of manipulation in disregard of their human dignity, often also to the detriment of their health”, he added.

Mr Jensen underscored that “parliaments have the power and obligation to review government misconduct. It is therefore also for parliamentarians to draw political conclusions from the revelations of the McLaren report, besides the legal and organisational measures called for by the international sports associations concerned”.

The rapporteur further emphasised that “individual athletes might not have the power to escape such a system of state-sponsored doping. Therefore, it is not enough to penalise individual athletes. Responsibility for such gross misconduct must ultimately remain with the sport organisations and the state authorities involved”. He called on Russia to “acknowledge its systemic deviation from internationally recognised anti-doping standards and withdraw from international sports contests until it has made its homework”.

Mr Jensen is currently preparing a report on “The legitimacy crisis of international sports governance” on behalf of the PACE Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media, which will address the problems of integrity, corruption and respective responsibilities of sports organisations and state authorities.