Russian athletes accused of cheating in shock doping claims

Liliya Shobukhova was interviewed (©GettyImages)

A German TV documentary has sensationally claimed that as many as 99% of Russian athletes are cheats. 

As reported by BBC Sport, it has been suggested that the majority of the country's athletes are doping, with it being revealed that Russian officials are being paid off to supply illegal substances and cover up positive tests.

Shock revelations  

There's no doubt about it, the Das Erste documentary has stunned the world of athletics, but it remains to be seen as to whether the claims are true.  

Ex-discus thrower Yevgeniya Pecherina claimed the majority of Russian athletes use ban substances, whilst Liliya Shobukhova, who secured victory in the London Marathon of 2010, insisted she paid as much as £350,000 to cover up tests after they returned positive.  

Doping claims denied 

Unsurprisingly, the Russian Athletics Federation (RAF) have quickly rubbished the claims, branding them as lies. In fact, the suggestions have also been dismissed by the Russian anti-doping agency as Nikita Kamaev, who is the managing director of the company, has questioned the lack of facts from the documentary. 

Kamaev said: "They do not have the facts or the documents which support any offences carried out against the anti-doping principles.

"In terms of the television program, I have not seen it, as I do not understand German well enough. Therefore I am not able to comment on it."

Valentin Balakhnichev, who is the president of Russia's Athletics Federation, certainly isn't happy with the allegations, and has insisted that they are a pack of lies. 

He told reporters: "I can say that there are a pack of lies and it is an unfair account. I will be able to give a more accurate and fuller commentary once we have studied the situation further."

The saga certainly looks set to continue over the coming weeks and months, and it will be extremely interesting to see just how it pans out.

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