Russian officials admit to ‘institutional conspiracy’ in doping of hundreds of Olympic athletes

Russian officials have acknowledged for the first time the existence of a systematic, far-reaching campaign of doping that involved hundreds of the country’s athletes and tainted some of the world’s most exalted international sporting events.

The officials were asked over several days of interviews with? The New York Times whether they still disputed credible evidence of an organized Russian doping program for Russian athletes centered on the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, and they said they could no longer do so.

“It was an institutional conspiracy,” Anna Antseliovich, the acting head of the Russian anti-doping agency, told the newspaper of a doping program that included cover-ups of positive tests across dozens of summer and winter Olympic sports.

The Times report also detailed how top Russian athletes had had their urine samples tampered with by a lab director at the Olympics to beat the drug-testing system and had received cocktails of performance-enhancing drugs. The report provided further corroboration by Russian officials of the manipulation of doping samples in Russia by members of the Federal Security Service and years’ worth of cover-ups of top athletes’ use of…