Russia Finally Admits That Its Athletes Are Pumped Full of PEDs

But was there ever really any doubt?

Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren) in Rocky IV

Maria Sharapova, the world’s highest paid female athlete, was suspended from tennis for testing positive for the banned substance meldonium. (Getty Images)

After years of denying that their athletes were regularly sticking needles into their asses, Russian officials finally admitted this week to an “institutional conspiracy” that saw athletes from across sports doping and officials doing everything they could to hide it from authorities.

The admission was made to The New York Times, in what the paper suggests is an attempt to start over. After a report from the World Anti-Doping Agency and formal actions by the International Olympic Committee, Russia has little choice but to come clean if it wants to emerge from this shadow.

While the officials admitted to the doping program, they’re still denying that it goes all the way to the top of the government—meaning Russian Vladimir Putin was not involved. At least that’s what they say. Putin isn’t exactly one to let his minions run free, so we’ll take claims of his ignorance with a grain of salt.

So, what did the doping look like? Much of it involved pee.

In Sochi, during the 2014 Olympic Games, crooked officials swapped out the dirty urine of Russian athletes who would have otherwise been popped for steroid use. One corrupt lab director altered urine samples and helped athletes obtain the drugs they needed to get an edge on the competition. And the Federal Security Service, the modern version of the KGD, used its strong arm tactics to screw with athlete piss.

The Times report, published Tuesday, is already being disputed by Russia. “We categorically deny it,” a Kremlin spokesman said. But the paper is standing by the story and we’re inclined to believe it. Just look at the kind of athletes they’ve got.