(CNN) – Russia should be banned from international athletics for doping violations, according to an independent report commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
Compiled by former WADA president Dick Pound, the findings uncovered a “deeply rooted culture of cheating at all levels” within Russian athletics.
The report says over 1,400 samples had been “intentionally and maliciously” destroyed by a Moscow laboratory even after a plea to preserve them and that Russian law enforcement agencies were involved.
At the London 2012 Olympics, Russia won a total of 82 medals — finishing fourth in the table with 24 golds.
The Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) was not immediately available for comment.
Pound’s report details “corruption and bribery practices at the highest levels of international athletics,” evidence of which has been transmitted to international crime-fighting organization Interpol for appropriate investigation.
Russia could now be prevented from taking part in the 2016 Olympics after Pound admitted there was no other conclusion that in terms of consent, it amounted to state-sponsored doping.
Pound told a press conference: “For the 2016 Olympics our recommendation is that the Russian Federation is suspended. One of our hopes is that they will volunteer that so they can undertake the remedial work needed.
“If they don’t then it has to play itself out and the outcome may be there are no Russian track and field athletes in Rio. I hope they recognize it is time to change and make those changes.
“If they do the surgery and do the therapy I hope they can get there [Rio]. The idea is not to exclude people from Olympics.”