Russian Athletes Part of State-Sponsored Doping Program


Members of Russia’s secret service intimidated workers at a drug-testing lab to cover up top athletes’ positive results. They impersonated lab engineers during the Winter Olympics in Sochi last year. A lab once destroyed more than 1,400 samples.

Athletes adopted false identities to avoid unexpected testing. Some paid to make doping violations disappear. Others bribed the antidoping authorities to ensure favorable results, and top sports officials routinely submitted bogus urine samples for athletes who were doping.

Those allegations were among hundreds contained in a report released Monday by the World Anti-Doping Agency. Across 323 pages, it implicates athletes, coaches, trainers, doctors and various Russian institutions, laying out what is very likely the most extensive state-sponsored doping program since the notorious East German regime of the 1970s.
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In addition to providing a granular look at systematic doping, the group that drafted the report made extraordinary recommendations, including a proposal that Russia be suspended from competition by track and field’s governing body and barred from track and field events at next summer’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.