Rodchenkov says about 100 urine samples were switched over the course of the Games, at least 15 of Russia’s 33 medal-winners among them. Not a single one was ever caught.

Russia handily won the medal count for the 2014 Olympics, meeting a goal set by President Vladimir Putin before the Games.

Rodchenkov fled Russia after a WADA investigation implicated him in even wider state-sponsored doping efforts, and says he fears for his safety: two of his former colleagues recently died under unclear circumstances, within weeks of each other.


The Times report comes on the heels of a 60 Minutes interview with two other whistleblowers, a married couple: He a low-level employee at Russia’s anti-doping agency, she an elite runner. It didn’t take long when they first met for her to tell him how things actually worked.

Fifteen minutes into their first date, he got a dose of reality.

Vitaly Stepanov: “She says, ‘I’m doping. All my teammates are doping as well.’”

Armen Keteyian: “And what do you think?”

Vitaly Stepanov: “I had suspicion but I was hoping that I’m here to fix something. She says that’s not what RUSADA does. RUSADA helps Russian athletes to win medals. RUSADA does testing, but fake testing.”


Your takeaway from these reports is probably, and should be, that Russia is by all accounts the spiritual successor to those classic East German dope factories, which even we drug-loving pinkos think went too far: not for any dreamy conception of pure competition or the Olympic ideal, but because the athletes involved had no choice but to take part in regimens that affected their quality of life.

But there’s another takeaway. Russia allegedly doped with a scheme as simple as walking into the anti-doping lab and pouring out the “sealed” urine samples, and never got caught. Tell me again why we should believe that any anti-doping efforts should be trusted to be effective?