DOJ Launches Investigation Into Russian State-Sponsored Olympics Doping Scandal: Report

By Denisse Moreno, Epoch Times
May 17, 2016 5:34 pm Last Updated: May 17, 2016 5:34 pm

The U.S. Department of Justice has launched an investigation on the Russian state-run doping allegations in connection to the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, the New York Times reported on May 17.

Two individuals working on the case with the U.S. attorney’s office for the Eastern District of New York said they are inspecting Russian government officials, athletes, coaches, anti-doping authorities, or any person who may have benefited from doping.

Prosecutors are believed to be pursuing conspiracy and fraud charges, according to the New York Times.

The Epoch Times contacted the attorney’s office for the Eastern District of New York for a comment.

“It is DOJ policy that our offices do not comment on investigations; therefore, I could not confirm or deny any matter regarding your inquiry about an investigation,” the DOJ reply said.

SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 23:  Pilot Alexander Zubkovof Russia team 1 celebrates winning the gold medal during the Men's Four-Man Bobsleigh on Day 16 of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Sliding Center Sanki on February 23, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.  (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)
Pilot Alexander Zubkovof Russia team 1 celebrates winning the gold medal during the Men’s Four-Man Bobsleigh on Day 16 of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Sliding Center Sanki on Feb. 23, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (Adam Pretty/Getty Images)

The report about the Justice Department comes after the director of Russia’s anti-doping lab said dozens of Russian athletes used a cocktail of drugs to win medals at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, reported The New York Times on May 12.

During the Sochi Olympics, the director of the Russian anti-doping lab, Grigory Rodchenkov, said at least 15 medal winners were part of the state-sponsored doping program that had been planned for years to make sure the nation dominated the games.

Rodchenkov said he created a three-drug cocktail of illegal steroid substances—metenolone, trenbolone and oxandrolone—that he mixed with liquor and gave to dozens of Russian competitors. The athletes included 14 members of its cross-country ski team and two veteran bobsledders who won two golds.

He said as many as 100 tainted urine samples were removed.

Individuals working on the case with the Justice Department, who spoke under the condition of anonymity, told the New York Times that Rodchenkov is among the people under investigation.

Gold medalist Alexander Legkov of Russia celebrates in the medal ceremony for the Men's 50 km Mass Start Free during the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics Closing Ceremony at Fisht Olympic Stadium on February 23, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.  (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
Gold medalist Alexander Legkov of Russia celebrates in the medal ceremony for the Men’s 50 km Mass Start Free during the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics Closing Ceremony at Fisht Olympic Stadium on Feb. 23, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Meanwhile, the International Olympic Committee announced on May 17 that 31 athletes tested positive in retests of their doping samples from the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

The unidentified competitors ranged from six different sports and 12 countries.

The IOC said it retested 454 selected doping samples from the Beijing Games.

“All these measures are a powerful strike against the cheats we do not allow to win. They show once again that dopers have no place to hide,” said the IOC in a statement.