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Canal+ buys Russian athletics doping doc

Top Secret Doping How Russia Makes its WinnersFrench pay TV service Canal+ has acquired Doping – Top Secret: the Shadowy World of Athletics, as a damning report resulting the programme yesterday rocked the sport’s foundation.

DR in Denmark, YLE in Finland, NRK in Norway and NPO/Vara have also acquired the show from Germany distributor Autentic.

The Shadowy World of Athletics is the second part of an ARD/WDR exposé led by filmmaker Hajo Seppelt that alleges systematic, state-approved Russian doping.

The World Anti-Doping Agency launched an investigation to subject after the first part, Top Secret Doping – How Russia Makes its Winners, aired on German television in December 2014.

A press conference held yesterday in Geneva, Switzerland by WADA’s Independent Commission, with co-author Richard McLaren, a sports lawyer, saying the report highlighted “a different scale of corruption” to any other similar scandal.

Athletics’ governing body, the IAAF, has said it would seek approval from council members to consider sanctions against Russia, including a potential suspension from international competition. The IAAF, however, was also implicated in the commission.

The Russian government, for its part, has called the accusations “groundless”.

The Shadowy World of Athletics represents the latest sports exposé that has made waves in the past 18 months and become a big seller for Autentic.

In February, TBI reported that seven broadcasters, including DR and Al-Jazeera in the Middle East, had bought Top Secret Doping: How Russia Makes its Winners.

Meanwhile, several broadcasters acquired FIFA and the Price of Football, which was a one-off exposé into alleged corruption at football’s governing body and influenced the decision to the arrest FIFA president Sepp Blatter.