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Investigation Confirms Russian Government Has Been Helping Its Olympic Athletes Cheat For Years

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There's been a lot of media buzz revolving around allegations of performance-enhancing drug use by Russian athletes. On Monday, the results of an investigation on these accusations were finally released to the public. The findings showed that the claims were indeed true—and that the Russian government has been helping conceal it for years.

The government-lead doping scheme resulted in at least 312 falsified results, and lasted from 2011 through at least last year's world swimming championships, according to ESPNAs the 2016 Summer Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil quickly approach, the world is unsure of Russia's fate in the sports world.

According to News & Advance, these accusations claim that the country's sports ministry, when testing for drug usage, told officials which positive tests to report and which to conceal. The official investigation, conducted by Canadian law professor Richard McLaren, determined that of 577 positive samples screenings for dope, 312 of the results were withheld. McLaren's findings resulted in a 97-page document, which he is confident "was not leaked and stands by its credibility." The sports that were most heavily affected were track and field and wrestling, which accounted for more than 240 of the 312 withheld results. Other impacted sports included swimming, rowing, snowboarding and table tennis. The New York Times reported that the subversion of doping controls carried over into a number of paralympic sports, as well.

In response to the disgraceful findings of McLaren's report, U.S. Olympic Committee CEO Scott Blackmun stated that the report "confirms what we have stated previously: the current anti-doping system is broken and urgently requires the attention of everyone interested in protecting clean athletes."

The world is outraged by the confirmation of doping among Russian athletes in the Olympic games. Even before the verdict had been released, Travis Tygart, the CEO of USADA, said that Russia has "no business being allowed to compete on the world stage," should the allegations prove true. 

It's no surprise that the findings of the investigation were both infuriating and disappointing to those who believe in the integrity and virtue of the Olympic Games. Thomas Bach, the president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), has ensured the public that he is willing to "take the toughest sanctions available" against those involved in the scandal.

Although Blackmun did not say if Russia would be banned from the Rio Games, he did state that USADA "will rely on the IOC, WADA and the international federations to impose sanctions that are appropriate in relation to the magnitude of these offenses, and that give clean athletes some measure of comfort that they will be competing on a level playing field in Rio."

According to BBC, the IOC said it will decide on whether Russia can participate in the Rio Olympics within the next few weeks. In the meantime, the committee plans to re-test every single Russian athlete who competed at the 2014 Winter Olympics.


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