99% of Russian Athletes Are Doping: Report

Whistleblowers speak in German documentary, IAAF investigating
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 5, 2014 1:01 PM CST
99% of Russian Athletes Are Doping: Report
This is a Saturday, Aug. 11, 2012 file photo of Russia's Maria Savinova as she wins the women's 800-meters final at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London.   (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus, File)

As if bribery allegations weren't enough, Russia has found itself in the center of a corruption and systematic doping scandal via a German documentary that claims up to 99% of Russian Olympic athletes are doping, the Guardian reports. Liliya Shobukhova, winner of the Chicago Marathon from 2009 to 2011, is said to have paid Russia's athletics federation some $550,000 to cover up a positive drug test. When she was banned this year, her husband received a refund of nearly $370,000, which was allegedly traced to federation president Valentin Balakhnichev, German TV channel ARD reports, per ESPN. Balakhnichev is the treasurer of the International Association of Athletics Federations, which is investigating along with the World Anti-Doping Agency.

Balakhnichev tells the Guardian the allegations "are a pack of lies," but they only continue. Runner Yulia Stepanova (nee Rusanova) alleges she was told to text the number of her urine sample to an official at the Russian athletics championships and then "sleep in peace." She says coaches told her to keep clean urine samples in her freezer, and a recording appears to show a coach handing her the banned steroid Oxandrolone. She adds that Russian officials would supply substances in exchange for 5% of an athlete's earnings. An undercover video also appears to show Olympic gold medalist Mariya Savinova admitting to using Oxandrolone. A rep for the International Olympic Committee says it "will not hesitate take any and all action necessary." (More Russia stories.)

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