Back in April, Russian marathon star Liliya Shobukhova—who competed in the 2004, 2008, and 2012 Summer Olympics and won the Chicago Marathon in 2009, 2010, and 2011—received a two-year ban from running and was stripped of a bunch of medals after she tested positive from doping. At the time, she was publicly shamed by some of her rivals, including world record-holder Paula Radcliffe, and considered an outcast in the world of marathon running. But as it turns out, her positive doping case might only be the tip of the iceberg when it comes to a larger issue concerning doping in Russia.
According to an Associated Press report that was released a short time ago, Shobukhova allegedly paid $550,000 to the Russian athletics federation back in 2011 to cover up a positive doping case. Several other former high-ranking, anti-doping officials are also quoted in the report and claim that Russia has a systematic doping issue at the moment. And according to other reports out of Russia, the International Association of Athletics Federation is currently looking into alleged links between doping, Russian officials, and a number of athletes who participate in everything from swimming and cycling to weightlifting and cross-country skiing.
"These are serious allegations," IOC spokesman Mark Adams told the Associated Press. "I understand an investigation is already under way by the IAAF ethics commission and we await the full findings. Should there be anything affecting the International Olympic Committee and our code of ethics, we will not hesitate to take any and all action necessary."
There are a ton of other allegations made within the AP report, so if you're interested, we'd recommend you read the entire thing here. The fact that athletes like Shobukhova were involved in doping isn't necessarily surprising. But the fact that it sounds like doping is a widespread issue in Russia right now indicates that the country could have some problems moving forward when it comes to international competitions.
[via Associated Press]