On Saturday, a database containing more than 12,000 blood tests from 5,000 athletes was shared with the Sunday Times and German broadcaster ARD, revealing the "extraordinary extent of cheating" by athletes. A whistleblower leaked files belonging to the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), which showed an alarming rate of blood tests that suggest doping among the world's top athletes.
Two anti-doping experts, Robin Parisotto and Michael Ashenden, reviewed the data for the publications. While the evidence does not offer conclusive proof of performance-enhancing drugs, it suggests the strong possibility of rampant use and general inaction from governing bodies' of sports.
"Never have I seen such an alarmingly abnormal set of blood values," Parisotto said, according to the BBC. "So many athletes appear to have doped with impunity, and it is damning that the IAAF appears to have idly sat by and let this happen."
Among the revelations, the data revealed that a third of medals, including 55 golds, in endurance events at the Olympics and World Championships between 2001 and 2012 were won by athletes who recorded suspicious blood tests, none of whom have been stripped of their recognition, according to the BBC. One in seven of the athletes named in the files had blood tests that were "highly suggestive of doping or, at the very least, abnormal," and 10 medals in the London 2012 Olympics were won by people with questionable results. The report also showed that athletes increasingly have been using blood transfusions and EPO micro-doses to boost their red cell count and avoid detection.
The files revealed that Russian athletes have the highest rates of suspicious blood test results, with over 80 percent of the nation's medals won by athletes suspected of doping, according to the BBC.
While the report mainly focused on the broader data, the BBC reported that top stars such as Mo Farah and Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt recorded no abnormal results.