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
WADA President Sir Craig Reedie on new probe into Russia doping allegations: 'WADA will probe these new allegations immediately. The claims made in the program (CBS 60 Minutes) offer real cause for concern, as they contain new allegations regarding attempts to subvert the anti-doping process at the Sochi Games' - WADA
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 February 7 to February 23, 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 as 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 the effects of the Russian LGBT propaganda law, 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.
In the years following the Sochi Olympics, accusations were made that Russia presided over a state-run program which supplied their athletes with performance-enhancing drugs. It was alleged by the former director of Russia's anti-doping laboratory, Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov, that a conspiracy of corrupt anti-doping officials, FSB intelligence agents, and compliant Russian athletes used banned substances to gain an unfair advantage during the Games. Rodchenkov stated that the FSB tampered with over 100 urine samples as part of a cover-up, and that a third of the Russian medals won at Sochi were the result of doping. Following these revelations, the World Anti-Doping Agency suspended Russia's track and field team in November 2015.