On Monday, the World Anti-Doping Association released a report describing a pervasive doping culture among Russia's athletic programs.
The agency alleges that doping cover ups are so widespread in Russia that Russian athletes should be banned from competition — possibly even next year's Olympics -- until the country cleans up its act, according to a report in the
New York Times
Liliya Shobukhova, shown here crossing the finish line to come in second in the women's London marathon April 17, 2011, said she paid the Russian Athletics Federation 450,000 euros to cover up a positive doping test.
Part of the new report describes the possibility that Russia uses a laboratory on the outskirts of Moscow to help cover up widespread doping by pre-screening athletes' doping samples and ditching those that test positive.
Such widespread, state-sponsored doping hark back to the notorious days when East Germany oversaw a decades-long program to funnel performance-enhancing drugs to their athletes, known officially as State Plan 14.25.
Doping among individual athletes, however, has long been reported across many nationalities and sports. Given how prevalent cheating is these days, it can be difficult to sort out the range of substances that athletes abuse to get ahead. And although different sporting disciplines have their own regulations in terms of regulations and controls, the same drugs seem to keep coming back.
Does Athletic Doping Even Work?