More: Independent report on Russian athletic doping finds that Russian deputy minister for sport ordered the collection of clean urine samples, says it's 'inconceivable' that Minister of Sport Vitaly Mutko didn't know what was happening - The Guardian
Editor's note: The former director of Russia's anti-doping agency, the source for the New York Times story alleging widespread cheating, fled the country and now lives in Los Angeles. Grigory Rodchenkov was identified in a report on Russian state-sponsored doping by the World Anti-Doping Agency. - Tom
The 2014 Winter Olympics, officially called the XXII Olympic Winter Games (French: Les XXIIes Jeux olympiques d'hiver) (Russian: XXII Олимпийские зимние игры, tr. XXII Olimpiyskiye zimniye igry) and commonly known as Sochi 2014, were a major international multi-sport event held from 7 to 23 February 2014 in Sochi, Krasnodar Krai, Russia, with opening rounds in certain events held on the eve of the opening ceremony, 6 February 2014. Both the Olympics and 2014 Winter Paralympics were organized by the Sochi Organizing Committee (SOOC). Sochi was selected as the host city in July 2007, during the 119th IOC Session held in Guatemala City. It was the first Olympics in Russia since the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991. The Soviet Union was the host nation for the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow.
A total of 98 events in 15 winter sport disciplines were held during the Games. A number of new competitions—a total of 12 accounting for gender—were held during the Games, including biathlon mixed relay, women's ski jumping, mixed-team figure skating, mixed-team luge, half-pipe skiing, ski and snowboard slopestyle, and snowboard parallel slalom. The events were held around two clusters of new venues: an Olympic Park constructed in Sochi's Imeretinsky Valley on the coast of the Black Sea, with Fisht Olympic Stadium, and the Games' indoor venues located within walking distance, and snow events in the resort settlement of Krasnaya Polyana.
In preparation, organizers focused on modernizing the telecommunications, electric power, and transportation infrastructures of the region. While originally budgeted at US$12 billion, various factors caused the budget to expand to over US$51 billion, surpassing the estimated $44 billion cost of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, making Sochi the most expensive Olympics in history.
The lead-up to these Games was marked by several major controversies, including allegations that corruption among officials led to the aforementioned cost overruns, concerns for the safety of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) athletes and spectators due to recent government actions, protests by ethnic Circassian activists over the site of Sochi (where they believe a genocide took place in the 19th century), and threats by jihadist groups tied to the insurgency in the North Caucasus. However, following the closing ceremony, commentators evaluated the Games to have been successful overall.