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An athlete attends a training session at the ?Yunost? sports ground at the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia, Thursday, Nov. 12, 2015. Facing allegations that Russia engages in extensive, state-sponsored doping, President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday called on sports officials to carry out an internal investigation - but said that clean athletes shouldn't be punished for the actions of those who take banned drugs. Sports are a substantial piece of Russia's self-esteem -- both in athletes' performances and its ability to host huge international events. AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

Russian officials are no longer disputing the country's Olympic doping operation


Russian officials have admitted that hundreds of the country's athletes were part of a state-backed doping campaign. 

“It was an institutional conspiracy,” Anna Antseliovich, the acting director general of Russia’s national antidoping agency told the New York Times Tuesday. 

The New York Times report notes that a lab director tampered with urine samples at the Olympics in order to cover up the country's top athletes' use of banned substances. 

In May 2016, the Times reported that the former director of the country’s antidoping laboratory, Grigory Rodchenkov, admitted to developing a cocktail of the banned drugs and distributing it to dozens of Russian athletes. 

Rodchenkov estimated that as many 100 tainted urine samples were swapped with clean urine during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. 

Earlier this month, Canadian law professor Richard McLaren produced a report on behalf of the World Anti-Doping Agency. In it, McLaren provided evidence that more than 1,000 Russian athletes were involved in or benefitted from state-sponsored doping between 2011 and 2015, according to The Guardian.  

In the report, McLaren also revealed that at the Winter Games in Sochi, at least 12 Russian medalists had scratch marks on the inside caps of their sample bottles, which indicates tampering.

In addition, the urine samples of two female ice hockey players contained male DNA. 

Because of the report, more than 100 Russian athletes were barred from competing in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil.

McLaren told the New York Times Tuesday that he was happy to hear Russian officials are no longer disputing his findings.

Many global sports competitions, which were scheduled to take place in Russia in early 2017, have been relocated due to the scandal. 

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