After several Olympiads, high-ranking Russian officials are now coming clean about the fact that their country's athletes weren't so clean after all. Many of the country's Olympic athletes had been long suspected for cheating their way to glory and winning medals by using performance-enhancing drugs, or PEDs. 

According to the New York Times, Russian officials are now backtracking on the nation's longstanding denial that their top athletes used PEDs during the Olympics. The acting director general of Russia’s national antidoping agency, Anna Antseliovich, copped to cheating schemes by an innumerable amount of their athletes for decades. "It was an institutional conspiracy," Antseliovich said about the cover-up. However, she exonerated top government officials, including the nation's president Vladimir Putin.

This scandal runs through multiple Olympic Games. The officials opened up about a lab director who tampered with Russian athletes' urine samples at the Olympics, and spoke about giving athletes cocktails of performance-enhancing drugs. The samples were reportedly broken into by Members of the Federal Security Service, a successor to the K.G.B. To top off the treachery, a deputy sports minister ordered the masking of top athletes’ use of banned substances for many years.

The doping operation’s existence was originally denied by Russian sports officials, despite the fact that Russia's former anti-doping lab chief, Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov, confessed to the plot in a separate New York Times article last May.

Richard McLaren, a​n investigator tapped by the World Anti-Doping Agency, published more detailed evidence this month that alerted the International Olympic Committee to carry out more disciplinary proceedings against the offending athletes.