International doping sleuth Richard McLaren is to release a new report Friday on performance-enhancing drugs in Russian sport that will pile more pressure on Russia and the Olympic movement.
While the contents of the investigation have been kept under wraps, International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach acknowledged Thursday that McLaren's new work would pose an “immediate challenge” to global sports.
Russia has consistently rejected McLaren's earlier accusations of “state-sponsored” doping.
But the IOC has already acted to extend provisional sanctions against Russia and the World Anti-Doping Agency has warned that it is a long way off rejoining the body.
McLaren's first report, released in July, led to more than 110 Russian athletes being banned from the Rio Olympics but also caused a major rift between the IOC and WADA.
The international agency had wanted all Russian competitors excluded from the Games.
The first report said there was a “state-dictated failsafe system” of doping cheating by Russia at the Sochi Winter Olympics which it hosted in 2014.
Some key figures believe Russia is in denial. “There are ongoing statements that there is no state involvement, there are threats to put anybody who reports otherwise in jail,” said WADA founder Dick Pound last week.
“It's not a good sign.”
The IOC barred former sports minister Vitaly Mutko from the Rio Olympics. He has since been promoted to deputy prime minister.
WADA president Craig Reedie said last month that Russia was a long way off returning to the global body.
Anti-doping officials have complained about a lack of access to closed cities where athletes are training and also to a Moscow laboratory where samples sought by international sporting federations are kept.
Athletes from Russia and other East European states have dominated the list of cheats caught in new tests on 1,243 samples taken at the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Olympics.
Tennis star Maria Sharapova has been among a host of Russians ordered banned because of doping failures over the past 18 months.