Russia prides itself in sports, but the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) recommended agencies ban the country due to a massive doping scandal that reaches the government.

They found:

1. The Moscow laboratory operated, for the protection of doped Russian athletes, within a State-dictated failsafe system, described in the Report as the Disappearing Positive Methodology.

2. The Sochi laboratory operated a unique sample swapping methodology to enable doped Russian athletes to compete at the Games.

3. The Ministry of Sport directed, controlled and oversaw the manipulation of athletes’ analytical results and sample swapping, with the active participation and assistance of the Federal Security Service (FSB); the Center of Sports Preparation of National Teams of Russia (CSP); and, both Moscow and Sochi laboratories.

Russia hosted the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, where they won the most medals with 33.

At first, WADA recommended the Olympics ban Russia’s track and field team, but now they say the entire country should not compete in competitions:

WADA’s Executive Committee strongly regrets that there was public speculation made by certain NADOs as to the Investigation’s outcome, in the absence of the facts, in the days leading up to the Report’s publication. Today, the McLaren Report corroborates the following evidence; on which basis, WADA’s Executive Committee has come to the following conclusions. The Executive Committee strongly requests the Sports Movement to seriously consider the facts and the following sanctions:

1. Given that the Russian Ministry of Sport orchestrated systematic cheating of Russian athletes to subvert the doping control process; and that, the evidence shows such subversion in 30 sports, including 20 Olympic summer sports and Paralympic sports, the presumption of innocence of athletes in these sports, and in all Russian sports, is seriously called into question.

Accordingly, WADA recommends to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) to consider, under their respective Charters, to decline entries, for Rio 2016, of all athletes submitted by the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) and the Russian Paralympic Committee. Furthermore, any exceptional entry of a Russian athlete should be considered by the IOC and IPC for participation under a neutral flag and in accordance with very strict criteria.

WADA also recommends that Russian Government officials be denied access to international competitions, including Rio 2016.

2. The Investigation determined that a high number of Olympic sports, non-Olympic sports and Paralympic sports benefited from the system orchestrated by the Russian Ministry of Sport. The presumption of innocence from Russian athletes in these sports is therefore seriously called into question.

Accordingly, WADA recommends to International Federations (IFs) to consider their responsibilities under the World Anti-Doping Code as far as their Russian National Federations are concerned. (It is noted that a number of IFs have already taken steps under their rules in this regard.)

What a blow to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who loves to show off his athletic abilities. Don’t forget he scored 7 goals in a hockey game.

But of course Putin plays the victim, blaming the report on anti-Russia politics:

“We are seeing a dangerous return to politics interfering with sport,” Putin said in a statement issued by the Kremlin Monday. “Yes, the form of interference has changed but the goal is the same: to make sport an instrument to apply geopolitical pressure” in ways that led to boycotts of the 1980 Moscow Olympics and the 1984 Los Angeles games over the Soviet Union’s entry into Afghanistan, he said.

Precious coming from a man who injects (pun intended) politics into everything. In March 2014, he decided the government will use leftover Olympics funds to start a fitness program from the Soviet Union. Russia even has a sports ministry, which suspended anti-doping advisor Natalia Zhelanova along with four other officials. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev also suspended Deputy Minister of Sports Yuri Nagornykh until the doping scandal ends.

The International Olympic Committee planned an announcement today, but delayed any decision so they could consult legal advice. However, the group has “started disciplinary actions related to the involvement of officials within the Russian ministry of sports and other persons mentioned in the report because of violations of the Olympic Charter and the World Anti-Doping Code.”