Allegations of sports doping are so common it's easy for the eyes to glaze over, but a series of recent developments raises the possibility of a jarring reality check: Russia might be barred from the Rio Olympics. Related coverage:
- A panel from the International Association of Athletics Federations is expected to decide on June 17 whether Russian athletes will be allowed to compete at Rio, reports the Guardian.
- This follows a report in the New York Times in which the former head of Russia's antidoping agency described a slick state-run operation during the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, one that involved switching out urine samples from supposedly tamper-proof bottles.
- If true, the Sochi allegations are "shocking" and represent an "unprecedented level of criminality," says the head of the International Olympic Committee, per Reuters.
- And that Times report follows up on similar allegations from the World Anti-Doping Agency back in November.
- Russia's sports minister apologized for "serious mistakes" by Russian athletes and coaches, though he didn't get into specifics, in the UK's Sunday Times.
- Even the Justice Department is investigating now, in part because Russian athletes competed in US events, reports the New York Times.
- Separately, the IOC has opened disciplinary proceedings against 31 unidentified athletes from 12 countries suspected of cheating after a retest of drug samples from the 2008 Beijing Games. They may not be allowed to compete in Rio, either, reports the AP.
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