Documents obtained by the New York Times have revealed state-sponsored doping of Russian athletes could go back at least decades.

The Times reported a document signed in 1983 by Dr. Sergei Portugalov, a Soviet sports doctor. The document had Dr. Sergei saying oral steroids were not enough to guarantee the performance of the track and field athletes at the 1984 games (which they later boycotted). Dr. Sergei recommended injections of three different anabolic steroids that were stocked at the Research Institute of Physical Culture and Sports in Moscow.

The claims were supported by an interview of Dr. Grigory Vorobiev, a former Soviet sports doctor, who provided evidence of the doping claims. Vorobiev, who now lives in Chicago, described a win-at-all-costs system that was dabbling with performance enhancing drugs as early as the 1970s. Vorobiev told the Times that Russian athletes used to routinely ask about performance enhancing drugs and remarked oral steroids were common on the track team. The former Soviet sports doctor said he would have been blamed for a sub-par performance and fired if he had made efforts to convince athletes not to use drugs.

The documents suggest the anti-doping lab of Russia was colluding with sports officials for masking apparent doping program’s effects. The letter said there is only one basic reason to reject the injection form — the lack of definite data about how much time it takes to clear the body and it further said we will have the official recommendation and conclusion no later than December 15, 1983.

In another development, the whistleblower who uncovered state-sponsored doping in East Germany in the Seventies and Eighties has remarked a complete overhaul of the anti-doping system is the only way to avoid a repeat of the Russian drugs scandal. Werner Franke, who was the key figure to lift the lid on the German doping program along with his wife Brigitte Berendonk, a former West German Olympic discus thrower, said the only approach is to have anti-doping isolated from the sports system and went on to remark that all sports are corrupt and this is an international health situation.

Werner added international scientists would be elected to their positions off the back of their qualifications and thereby to avoid all interferences as we have had in the past. Previously, the German professor, who works in cell and molecular biology at the German Cancer Research Centre in Heidelberg, has warned of the “human catastrophe” of the latest state-sponsored doping system of Russia. Franke remarked things like this have already taken place and shaped sport long into the future and also commented that if you treat talented youngsters — females in particular — early enough before their international careers begin, you can viralize their bodies properly, and it’s very clear that the muscles are advanced by doping for at least four years afterwards. Franke said it was with athletes as young as 12 in Germany and this is still happening all over the world.

A footnote in the recently published McLaren report showed a secret email from a former Russian anti-doping head in January 2015 in which race walking coach Viktor Chegin, stated the report, “started stabbing the injecting of erythropoietin in Chinese 13-14 year old girls and boys and he boasted that he did 50 injections per day in the ‘preparatory period’ without any medical education.

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