IOC could retest Russian Sochi doping samples
According to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) medical director Dr. Richard Budgett , IOC "would not hesitate" to retest drug samples from the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics if there is evidence of manipulation. "The IOC will follow up any issues very carefully," Budgett said. The IOC recently began retesting samples, from Beijing and London Olympics, to weed out any drug cheats before Rio Games.
In November 2015, in the wake of the WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) report, Russia was provisionally suspended from international track and field competitions. It is yet to be decided whether this ban will be lifted ahead of Rio Games. Russia was accused of running a state-sponsored doping programme.
A whistleblower and former Russian anti-doping agency worker, Vitaly Stepanov alleged that undercover Russian intelligence agents posed as anti-doping staff to cover up cheating at 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. He said he was told of the cover-up by Grigory Rodchenkov, former head of Moscow's anti-doping laboratory, who was found complicit in 2015 WADA report. Vitaly made these claims on CBS' "60 Minutes" programme.
Whistleblower Vitaly Stepanov also alleged that he had been told four of the Russian gold medallists at the Sochi Olympics were on steroids.
WADA announced that it will probe new Russian doping allegations related to the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games, based on claims made by Vitaly Stepanov. WADA president Craig Reedie said that the new claims were a "cause for concern" and that the agency will act "immediately". Natalya Zhelanova, the anti-doping adviser to Russia's sports minister, said the ministry would cooperate with any WADA investigation.
According to the New York Times report, systemic doping of Russian athletes during 2014 Sochi Olympics was facilitated with the help of country's internal intelligence agency and through replacement of urine samples. At least 15 medal winners at Sochi were part of the state-run doping programme. Based on interviews with Grigory Rodchenkov, NYT reported that as many as 100 dirty urine samples were expunged.
Russia topped the medal table in Sochi with 33 medals, including 13 gold medals. The doping scandal involved some of Russia's biggest stars of the Games, including 14 members of its cross-country ski team and two veteran bobsledders who won two golds.
Even in the face of mounting evidence in regards to state-run doping, Russian officials continued to deny any wrong doing. Russian sports minister Vitaly Mutko dismissed the New York Times report calling the allegations "absurd". Mutko said that the charges against the athletes accused of doping were baseless. He added, "We will analyze the article and decide how we will react."