Russia’s status as a sports superpower and its participation in track and field events at next year’s Olympics came under threat Monday after a report accused the Russians of widespread, state-supported doping reminiscent of the darkest days of cheating by the former East Germany.
The findings by a commission set up by the World Anti-Doping Agency were far more damaging than expected. It means that two of the world’s most popular sports — soccer and track and field — are now mired in scandals that could destroy their reputations. The WADA investigation’s findings that Russian government officials must have known about doping and cover-ups, with even its intelligence service, the FSB, allegedly involved, threatened to severely tarnish President Vladimir Putin’s use of sports to improve his country’s global standing. Russia hosted the last Winter Olympics in Sochi in 2014 and will hold the next World Cup in 2018. Read more