(CNN) – The International Olympic Committee meets Tuesday to decide whether Russia’s track and field athletes can compete in the 2016 games. The team was banned by the world governing body for athletics after a report uncovered widespread doping.
Meanwhile, a new lab in Rio plans to keep cheaters out of the Olympic Games.
In the race for Rio to be ready, few final tweaks matter more than in this one room: Brazil’s 24-hour anti-doping laboratory for the Olympics.
Testing 6000 tiny samples from athletes in the games – each able to crush a sportsman’s dreams. Where nations will be desperate for a clean slate, after allegations of doping on a state-sponsored, industrial scale, has seen Russian track and field stars banned, for now. Russia has categorically denied all allegations but says it needs to regain trust.
Here, they’re hoping stay clear of controversy.
Dr. Francisco Radler de Aquino Neto says, “We are not in good times, maybe we are really cleaning the system now.”
Doping risks are overwhelming the Olympics, introducing to it geopolitical rivalry, corruption and essentially cheating at the heart of sport.
Here, urine is stripped down to the core molecules these spectrograms then identify.
But it’s before this stage that samples were allegedly tampered with in the 2014 Sochi games.
Russia accused, staggeringly, of using its security services – its new KGB – to tamper with supposedly tamper-proof bottles. Allegedly, they were using a hole in the laboratory wall, to switch samples.
With each bottle having a special random number on its seal, how do you do that?
(Dr. Francisco Radler de Aquino Neto) “Millions of different caps, you could choose, open a bottle and close it with another.”
(Nick Paton Walsh) “You basically have to be the people making the bottle?”
(Dr. Francisco Radler de Aquino Neto) “Almost that, or have a mirror factory of that to be able to fabricate it.”
(Nick Paton Walsh) “But it’s almost impossible to be sure if countries are willing to do that kind of thing, that level of planning…”
(Dr. Francisco Radler de Aquino Neto) “I think it is really hard to reach that point because you need to involve high-ranking officials from that country, from the anti-doping agency, from the direction of the laboratory, from the technicians so to do that, it’s kind of a mafia thing.”
This where the cold, grey whirring of science, collides with that underworld of alleged breathtaking deception.
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