Sports Medicine, Russian Style

Sports Medicine, Russian Style
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) recently reported that Russia’s secret service intimidated workers at a drug-testing lab and impersonated lab engineers, and a Russian drug test lab destroyed 1,400 samples, all to cover up positive drug tests by the country’s athletes. Russia’s athletes paid to make doping violations disappear, bribed anti-doping authorities to ensure favorable results, and Russian sports officials submitted bogus urine samples for doping team athletes. This was documented at the London Olympics, at Sochi, and during other athletic competitions. Given this long-term, state-sponsored, systemic culture of corruption, WADA called for banning Russian athletes from international competition, including the 2016 Rio Olympics.

The evidence is so strong that the council of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) suspended Russia from all international track and field competition by a vote of 22 to 1. Even Russian President Vladimir Putin has called for an internal investigation of his nation’s sports teams to identify individual culprits and pledged cooperation with international anti-doping sports bodies.


“Top Russian athletes participated in systemic, state-sanctioned doping, report says,” Dave Sheinin and Will Hobson, Washington Post

“Drugs Pervade Sport in Russia, World Anti-Doping Agency Report Finds,” Rebecca R. Ruizn, New York Times

“How Russia Hid Its Doping in Plain Sight,” David Epstein, ProPublica

“Russian track federation suspended, could miss Rio Olympics,” Stephen Wilson, Associated Press

“Vladimir Putin: ‘Russia must protect its athletes,'” Chris Borg, CNN


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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

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