Department of Canadian Heritage

Department of Canadian Heritage

July 18, 2016 12:47 ET

Statement by Minister Qualtrough on the Release of the McLaren Report into the Integrity of the Drug Testing System at the Sochi 2014 Winter Games

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - July 18, 2016) - A World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) commission, led by Canadian Richard McLaren, released a report today into the integrity of the anti-doping system at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games. Its results are disappointing and in stark contrast to the values of all the clean athletes who pursue sport excellence with integrity and honour.

I am profoundly troubled by the evidence presented in the commission's report of organized manipulation of dirty samples by those running the testing facility, as well as some Russian officials and athletes. The evidence of deeply rooted cheating is extremely upsetting.

I remain committed to working with my international colleagues to ensure systemic change is undertaken following the release of this evidence. It is imperative that there are consequences at all levels for those who are cheating the system, not just the athletes. I support the WADA recommendations following this investigation and agree that more investigation is warranted. As an international sport system, we need to come together for a collective response at all levels. The report findings and ensuing consequences represent a defining moment in sport.

As a retired Paralympian, a former board member of the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport and now a member of the WADA Foundation board in my role as Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, I am very proud of the role Canada is playing in this important discussion. Richard McLaren's leadership on this issue, along with the involvement of other Canadians, such as Dick Pound and Beckie Scott within WADA, is ensuring that Canadian values are reflected in the organization's efforts.

Through our ongoing support to the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport and to WADA and its headquarters in Montréal, the Government of Canada is firmly committed to the anti-doping movement.

Our government is behind our athletes and coaches heading to the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games. We will continue to work to ensure that every effort will be made to protect the integrity of the competition and the interests of the clean athletes taking part.

Associated Links

McLaren Independent Investigations Report Into Sochi Allegations

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Contact Information

  • Ashley Michnowski
    Press Secretary
    Office of the Honourable Carla Qualtrough
    Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities
    613-697-8016
    ashley.michnowski@canada.ca