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More Than 1,000 Russian Athletes Involved in Doping Scandal

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Laurence Griffiths/Getty

More than 1,000 Russian athletes across 30 sports were part of a massive state-sponsored doping program between 2011 and 2015, the World Anti-Doping Agency reported on Friday.

The New York Times reports that the competitions had been tainted, which ensured Russia’s wins at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, the 2013 track and field world championships in Moscow and the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Fifteen out of 78 medal winners from the London Olympics have been implicated in the doping scandal, of which 10 have been stripped of their medals.

At the Sochi games, 12 medal-winning athletes had urine samples that had been tampered with, according to evidence. And six winners of 21 Paralympic medals were also found to have had tampered urine samples.

The 151-page report says that table salt and Nescafé instantcoffee granules were used to help conceal tainted urine and bypass controls. Urine provided by two female hockey players at Sochi also contained male DNA.

“The desire to win medals superseded their collective moral and ethical compass and Olympic values of fair play,” according to the report by the World Anti-Doping Agency, which was spearheaded by investigator Richard McClaren.

“WADA is grateful to Richard McLaren and his team for this long and arduous effort that reconfirms institutionalized manipulation and cover up of the doping control process in Russia,” said WADA President, Sir Craig Reedie.  “The Report, and its evidence published today, shows the scope of subversion; and, focusses on the number of athletes that benefited over a prolonged period of time. It is alarming to read that 1,000 Russian athletes — competing in summer, winter and Paralympic sport— can be identified as being involved in, or benefiting from, manipulations to conceal positive doping tests.”

The report could also renew calls for Russia to be barred from the 2018 Winter Games in South Korea, NBC reports.

After the report was released, Russian officials said there is still no definitive proof of a widespread doping scandal.

“These allegations of McLaren’s are completely baseless, not backed by a single confirmed fact,” said Lev Seleznev, member of the executive committee of the Russian Paralympic Committee, according to NBC.