Russian sport’s doping problem
Russian and former Eastern block countries have long been accused of their use of performance enhancing drugs, dating back to the 1970s. As testing procedures at sports events have become more sophisticated a high number of sportsmen and women have been caught and banned or suspended. In more recent years the problem has been widespread amongst Chinese athletes, with even Western Europe and North American athletes receiving bans too.
A recent investigation into Russian dope testing procedures has suggested that more than 1000 athletes have been involved in state sponsored doping, causing a huge controversy. The report suggests that between 2011 and 2015 state sponsored doping was rife in over 30 different sports in the country. The report states that doses of salt and coffee were used by the athletes before being tested to hide the evidence. The report’s author Richard Mclaren stated that the London 2012 olympics were ‘ corrupted on an unprecedented scale’.
Mclaren recently wrote a second report detailing more depth and evidence of the scandal, something which Russian authorities have flatly denied. They have requested the International Olympic Committee investigate and provide more proof. Russia won 72 medals at the London games, 21 being gold. Mclaren has stated that Russian MPs cannot argue the evidence is there in his reports. The evidence includes 2 Russian female ice hockey players giving male urine samples, other samples had evidence of tampering and the most important find was that emails were disclosed from The Russian Ministry of Sport asking what they should do with positive samples, to save them or quarantine them.
The International Olympic Committee, will follow up with a thorough investigation as this leaves the games very tainted. Recent games have already come under scrutiny due to over expenditure, with the 2014 winter Olympics allegedly costing $40bn.