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Olympic officials receive 'valuable intelligence' in Russian cheating scandal

Olympic officials receive 'valuable intelligence' in Russian cheating scandal
The Russian and Olympic flags fly during the closing ceremony of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Games. (Kay Nietfeld / EPA)

Anti-doping authorities met with officials from around the Olympics world Thursday to share “valuable intelligence” regarding allegations of cheating at a Russian testing laboratory.

The World Anti-Doping Agency had acquired the information from a database at a Moscow lab and expressed confidence in its veracity earlier this year.

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WADA’s independent McLaren Investigation previously found that the Russians manipulated samples during the 2014 Sochi Winter Games to prevent their athletes from testing positive.

Now, the anti-doping agency has given the database information to the International Olympic Committee and the international federations that govern each sport.

“It is now over to them to diligently follow up on this new intelligence,” said Gunter Younger, a WADA official. “We will be available to advise and guide each federation in the handling of their respective cases.”

The meeting comes shortly after the IOC banned Russia from competing as a nation at the upcoming 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Much of the investigation into sample tampering has hinged on testimony from Grigory Rodchenkov, former director of the Moscow lab.

The whistleblower has been living in the U.S. under witness protection. On Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin accused the U.S. of coercing Rodchenkov into making false claims.

“What are they doing with him there?” Putin asked, according to the Associated Press. “Are they giving him some kind of substances so that he says what’s required?”

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