Doping in de sport - 2014 Winter Olympics

2014 Winter Olympics

The samples from all doping tests at the Sochi Olympics are said to be kept frozen for 10 years by the international anti-doping agency WADA. That was two years longer than before.

According to the International Olympic Committee, Sochi 2014 saw the most stringent anti-doping program of all time with 2,453 tests, but nothing could be further from the truth. Only a few athletes were caught during the Games themselves. After retesting the samples, hell broke lose.

What happened during the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, defied imagination. There was massive doping and the controls were a joke. All this was revealed during the retesting of the frozen samples, but also through the revelations of Grigory Rodchenkov (1958-). The former director of the Russian Anti-Doping Laboratory revealed in 2016 that dozens of Russian athletes, including at least 15 medalists, were part of a state-run doping program to ensure Russian dominance at the Games.

Following the publication of the McLaren report on Russian doping at the Sochi Olympics, the International Olympic Committee announced in December 2016 that it opened an investigation into 28 Russian athletes. The number later rose to 46.

The Russians were given the infamous 'duchess' cocktail, a mix of oxandrolone, a metabolic ester and a trenbolone ester.

Before the Olympics


Russian medal candidate Irina Starykh (1987-) was removed from the team because she had not passed a doping test in late 2013. She received a three-year suspension for EPO use.

Alexandr Loginov (1992-) was caught using EPO in November 2013 and was also not allowed to participate in the Winter Olympics domestically. The Russian was banned for two years.

Ekaterina Iourieva (1983-), still world champion in the 15 km in 2008, was also caught before the Olympics started. Because the Russian had already been caught during the 2009 World Cup, she now received an eight year ban, but the International Biathlon Federation added another four years.

Serhij Sednev (1983-) was selected by Ukraine for the Sochi Games, but announced just before the start that he was ending his sports career. In 2015, it was revealed that he had tested positive for EPO in an out-of-competition test at the end of 2013 and had been retroactively suspended for two years before that.


Just before the start of the Olympcs, Canadian Rachelle Fleurant (1992-) was suspended for two years because she was caught using the anabolics clenbuterol and oxandrolone and the diuretic hydrochlorothiazide.

Even before the opening ceremony started, former decathlonist William Frullani (1979-) tested positive for methylhexanamine. The Italian policeman was therefore no longer allowed to participate.

Speed skating

American Brett Perry (1993-) tested positive for methylphenidate during the US Olympic Trials, so he had to side for nine months and therefore missed the Olympics.

During the Olympics


After her Olympic cross country titles of 2002 and 2010, Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle (1980-) now ventured as a biathlete, but after the 12.5km race the German tested positive for methylhexanamine. She claimed that she had subconsciously ingested the substance with a dietary supplement, which a nutritionist had prescribed for her. She was initially suspended for two years, but that was reduced to six months at the end of November 2014. Nevertheless, she announced her retirement from the sports competitions


Daniel Zalewski (1992-) was a member of the Polish four-man bob, but tested positive for a prohibited stimulus. He was suspended for two years for this.

Cross Country

After a positive test for trimetazidine, Ukrainian Marina Lisogor (1983-) was excluded from the Winter Olympics. The Ukrainian Olympic Committee and Lisogor herself claimed that she had been taking the drug since thyroid surgery since 2004 and that they were unaware that it was now on the anti-doping list.

After his positive EPO test, Austrian Johannes Dürr (1987-) was temporarily suspended. He was sent home and was suspended for two years. During the TV documentary "Geheimsache Doping - Wie Russland seine Sieger Macht" (Secret matter doping - How Russia makes its victors), broadcast by the German ARD in January 2019, he publicly declared his history of doping and revealed that the Austrian Ski Association was involved in doping practices. As a result, the Austrian police, along with the Munich Attorney General, carried out raids a month later during the World Cup in Seefeld and Erfurt and arrested five athletes and four other persons. According to the Munich Public Prosecutor's Office, Dürr's statements in the ARD documentary had led to this doping study and raids. A few days after the arrests in Seefeld and Erfurt, Dürr was also arrested in Innsbruck.

According to the previously arrested Austrian cross-country skiers Dominik Baldauf (1992-) and Max Hauke (1992-), Dürr had contact with the accused German physician Mark Schmidt from Erfurt. Dürr admitted that he had received blood doping until 2018. He was released a few days later, but as a repeat offender he was suspended for life in September 2019.

Ice hockey

Let Ralfs Freibergs (1991-) tested positive for dehydrochloromethyl-testosterone and was therefore expelled from the Olympics.

Vitalijs Pavlovs (1989-) tested positive for methylhexaneamine, the Latvian had to leave the Olympic village and was suspended for 1.5 years.

After the semi-final against Finland won 2-1, Swede Nicklas Bäckström (1987-) tested positive and therefore he was not allowed to compete in the final against Canada. He was awarded the silver medal in March 2014, because he could prove that he had been taking this medicine for years to control his allergy. In addition, the limit value was only slightly exceeded.

After the Olympics

How much was going on in Russia was only revealed after the Games. The Russian lab that conducted the doping tests tampered with the samples from its own athletes and that became really clear when the samples were retested.

Grigory Rodchenkov (1958-), former head of the Moscow Anti-Doping Laboratory, told the American newspaper 'New York Times' the cover-up practices of his laboratory in collaboration with RUSADA.

After the airing of the ARD documentary 'Geheimsache Doping - Wie Russland seine Sieger macht' (Secret matter doping - How Russia makes its victors), the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) asked Canadian professor of Sports Law Richard McLaren (1945-) to investigate these malpractices to the bone. In July 2016, just three weeks before the start of the Summer Olympics, McLaren published his first 97-page report. In this he demonstrated that methods were used in the Sochi laboratory, so that Russian athletes who had been doped had participated in the Olympics without hindrance.

Russian Ministry of Sport, led by Witali Mutko (1958-), organized and controlled the manipulation operations in the Moscow and Sochi laboratories, with the active participation of both the FSB secret service and the government agencies.

On December 9, 2016, the second McLaren report was published, which reported that thousands of Russian athletes were doping or using the state's systematic doping masking. The researchers backed up their findings with interviews from witnesses and studying files, emails and more than 4,000 Excel documents.

The IOC then decided that all blood and urine samples from Russian participants in the London and Sochi Winter Olympics should be retested.

On December 13, 2016, the IBSF World Federation decided to relocate the World Cup bobsled and skeleton that was originally assigned to Sochi.


The International Biathlon Union suspended Russian biathletes Olga Vilukhina (1988-) and Yana Romanova (1983-) for life. Vilukhina won silver in the sprint number in Sochi and both women were part of the relay team that also won silver.

Russians Olga Zaitseva (1978-), Yulia Chekaleva (1984-) and Anastasia Dotsenko (1986-) were removed from the tables in December 2017 and had to hand in the silver of the 4 x 5km. Due to lack of evidence, the CAS lifted the suspension of Chekaleva. Dotsenko, on the other hand, was suspended for life.


Lifetime suspension for bobsleigher Alexandr Zubkov (1974-), who carried the Russian flag during the opening ceremony. He had won the two- and four-man bob in Sochi. He announced his retirement in October 2014 and was named in a New York Times investigation in May 2016. In November 2017, he was found guilty of doping offenses and had to hand in his medals. The CAS confirmed that suspension, but in 2018 a Russian court overturned the suspension, allowing Zubkov to enjoy the presidential stipend that was awarded to Russian Olympia winners for life.

Together with Zubkov, his teammates Alexey Negodaylo (1989-), Alexey Voyevoda (1974-) and Dmitry Trunenkov (1984-) also had to hand in the gold medal. Vojevoda, a former world arm wrestling champion, also won the gold medal in the two-man bob with Zubkov and lost that medal. But his lifelong suspension was reduced to four years by the CAS. Trunenkov, for his part, was already on the prohibited products and could therefore forget particpating in all future Olympics. Negodaylo's lifelong suspension was lifted by the CAS on appeal, but he lost the gold medal for the doping troubles of his teammates.

Maxim Belugin (1985-), Alexander Kasjanov (1983-), Ilvir Huzin (1990-) and Kirill Antukh (1986-) won bronze in Sochi, but all four were banned from Olympics for life.

Aleksei Pushkarev (1983-) of the second Russian bobsleigh team also received a life sentence. Together with their teammates and Alexander Kasjanov (1983-), Ilvir Huzin (1990-) and Alexey Zaitsev (1993-), he finished second during the 2015 World Cup, but all four were dropped of the tables.

Liudmila Udobkina (1984-) formed a duo in the Russian bob team with former 100m runner Olga Stulneva (1983-), but both were swept off the tables in 2017. Udobkina was even given a life sentence, but on appeal that suspension was lifted for lack of evidence.

Cross Country

Based on the McLaren report, six Russian cross-country skiers were suspended: Evgeniy Belov (1990-), Alexander Legkov (1983-), Alexey Petukhov (1983-), Maxim Vylegzhanin (1982-), Yulia Ivanova (1985-) and Evgenia Shapovalova (1986-). Legkov won a gold and a silver medal and Vylegzhanin three silver medals. The IOC disqualified all six, imposed a lifelong suspension on them and deprived Legkov and Vylegzhanin of the medals won. Below, Legkov, Petukhov and Vylegzhanin appealed and due to insufficient evidence, the CAS reduced the penalty for non-participation in the following Winter Olympics.

Nikita Kryukov (1985-), Alexander Bessmertnykh (1986-) and Natalya Matveyeva (1986-) were also disqualified on December 22, 2017. But here, too, the CAS reduced the lifelong suspension of Kryukov and Bessmertnykht to non-participation in the following Winter Olympics.

Ice hockey

Seven players from the Russian female ice hockey team had to appear before the Oswald Commission on November 22, 2017, two of whom were charged with delivering urine samples that could not possibly be from a woman. On December 12, 2017, Tatiana Burina (1980-), Anna Shukina (1987-), Yekaterina Lebedeva (1989-), Yekaterina Pashkevich (1972-), Anna Shibanova (1994-) and Tatiana Burina (1980-) were suspended and ten days later also Yekaterina Smolentseva (1981-) and Galina Skiba (1984-). Due to lack of evidence, Shukina and Smolentseva were later acquitted by the CAS and Skiba's lifelong ban was reduced to four years.


Albert Demchenko (1971-) and Tatiana Ivanova (1991-) won the silver medal, but both Russians lost those places of honor in 2017 and had to hand in the honorary metal. In February, the International Sports Court lifted the sentence of both for lack of evidence, so they were allowed to keep their medals.


The International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation claimed the medals from Russians Alexander Tretyakov (1985-), Elena Nikitina (1992-), Maria Orlova (1988-) and Olga Potylitsina (1989-) and suspended them for life. Sergey Chudinov (1983-) followed a few weeks later. In February 2018, the International Sports Court overturned the suspensions for lack of evidence.

Speed skating

Russian speed skater Olga Fatkulina (1990-) had won the silver medal in the 500m, she was also removed from the tables in November 2017. However, in February 2018, the CAS destroyed that suspension, so that it was restored and therefore allowed to keep her medal.

Russian speed skater Aleksandr Rumyantsev (1986-) took part in the 5,000m and team relay in Sochi, but in November 2017 his results were annuled and he was suspended for four years. On appeal, Cas found insufficient evidence and overturned the sanction.

His compatriot Artyom Kuznetsov (1987-) competed in the 500 meters but was suspended for life in December 2017.

Ivan Skobrev (1984-) contested both the 5,000 and 10,000m, but the Russian was swept off the tables in December 2017. However, that sanction was also brushed aside by the CAS, because of insufficient evidence.