The United States Department of Justice has begun an investigation into the ongoing doping scandal surrounding Russia and many of the country’s elite athletes, The New York Times reports.
The U.S. attorney’s office for the Eastern District of New York is reportedly beginning to look into Russian officials, athletes and coaches, reportedly looking for conspiracy and fraud charges.
Reports of state-sponsored doping first emerged in November, published by the World Anti-Doping Agency. One of the chemists involved, Grigory Rodchenkov, spoke to the Times earlier this month, and said he worked under the government to assist athletes in the use of banned performance-enhancers and the elusion of drug tests, including at the Sochi Olympics in 2014. At least 15 medalists were implicated in that report.
The Russian Sports Ministry acknowledged doping problems last week in wake of that report and that “changes are needed,” and that the country has “nothing to hide” and was committed to fighting doping.
Sunday, Russian sports minister Vitaly Mutko wrote an editorial for the Sunday Times of London apologizing for the doping scandal. The Los Angeles Times reports Russia is working to have its track and field athletes, who have been banned from international competition, reinstated in time for the Olympics.