Report: Widespread Doping In Russian Track And Field The World Anti-Doping Agency has found evidence of "deeply rooted culture of cheating" and use of performance-enhancing drugs. It is calling for Russia to be suspended from international track events.
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Report: Widespread Doping In Russian Track And Field

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Report: Widespread Doping In Russian Track And Field

Report: Widespread Doping In Russian Track And Field

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Another sport is under the spotlight for widespread doping - track and field. A new report from the World Anti-Doping Agency alleges a, quote, "deeply rooted culture of cheating" at nearly every level of the Russian track and field program. The report details cheating by athletes, coaches, doctors, even the laboratory in Moscow that handled testing for the 2014 Winter Olympics, and it implicates the sport's governing body, the International Association of Athletics Federations, or the IAAF. Hajo Seppelt helped break the story with a documentary for German public broadcaster ARD. I reached him in Geneva earlier today. He said that the most incriminating evidence came from hidden cameras.

HAJO SEPPELT: Coaches talked about what has to be done to cover up doping. Doctors talked about what would be the best to prepare people with forbidden substances. Everything was on camera. It was on audio, so there was clear evidence that makes a difference.

CORNISH: Seppelt's main sources were a pair of Russian whistleblowers. One was an anti-doping official, the other a former athlete.

SEPPELT: They told me that the Russian Athletic Federation - they were doping, that a lot of coaches are working with doping substances, doping methods. If you don't help, if you don't support the system, if you don't take drugs and if you don't use forbidden methods, you cannot be a member of the national team. If you want to win in Russia, if you want to win, for example, the national championships, you have to be a doper. It's very easy. And it is the kind of culture of doping in Russia, in the biggest country of the world.

CORNISH: With something this widespread, so many people involved, can you help us understand how this cover-up worked?

SEPPELT: For example, there was a suspicious blood test of an athlete in Russia. The Russian coaches or doctors went to the athlete and told him that, we are able to cover up the doping test if you pay some money. So they paid the money, and the money was brought from the Russian officials to - at least partially to - some officials in the International Federation. And in some cases, they rebuked the positive cases, and sometimes they didn't because the Russians paid money.

CORNISH: You did this documentary back in 2014. What response has there been from Russia either to that or now?

SEPPELT: The Russians called it always a pack of lies. They denied everything. They told me that we are (unintelligible), that we have no clue about what we are doing. And they are still believing in that we are just doing that because we want to destroy Russia and we want to blame the Russians for this. But as you can imagine, we are only journalists. We want to reveal the truth.

CORNISH: Documentary maker Hajo Seppelt. We also want to note that Russia suspended five athletes for doping last week, including a well-known distance runner. Interpol today announced an investigation into the sport's international governing body, IAAF, in response to the allegations of corruption and bribery.

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