The athletes apparently did not have much choice:
Athletes were expected to cheat and there were consequences for those that did not. As one coach, Oleg Popov, admitted, they “have no choice but to dope otherwise the athlete is ‘out’, meaning removed from the team”. Systems were in put in place to subvert usual international norms. So, when Russian athletes failed drugs tests, they did not necessarily get caught or punished.
The interference came from the top. The Russian sports minister, Vitaly Mutko, even issued direct orders to “manipulate particular samples” and there was “direct intimidation and interference by the Russian state with the Moscow laboratory operations”. Not only were its offices bugged but its director, Grigory Rodchenkov, was required to meet a security officer from the FSB weekly to update him on the “mood of Wada”.
But Rodchenkov was not an innocent party. As the independent commission revealed he was an integral part of the conspiracy to extort money from athletes in order to cover up positive results. Staggeringly he was also involved in “the intentional and malicious destruction” of 1,417 samples to deny evidence for the inquiry. A shadow laboratory that covered up positive doping results by destroying samples was also set up by the Russian state.Once his laboratory was stripped of its right to conduct tests, Rodchenkov resigned, fled to the USA and turned 'state's evidence'. He is wanted in Russia for (treason??).
The Russian official response is, of course, "Why is everybody always picking on me?" "It is a conspiracy". "It is political". CIA, USA, etc etc. Same old same old.
All countries have athletes and coaches who will cheat and when they are caught, they will be punished as individuals. But when it is state policy, then the country as a whole must be punished. Russia seems to have decided that international laws or rules of any kind do not apply to them. They need to be disencumbered of that notion.
After the blow out at the Vancouver Winter Olympics in 2010, I guess Putin et al decided that for Sochi, they better come up with something good. If you cannot train superior athletes, then boost the ones you have and make sure no one finds out. Here is what they did for tests in Russia:
An independent investigation was conducted this year by WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) led by Canadian Dr. Richard McLaren. The whistleblowers who started the investigations, VitalyStepanov and his wife Yulia Rusanova, are in hiding, fearing for their lives as they have been called 'traitors to the Motherland'.
In 2010, Vitaly began sending WADA evidence that he said showed the cheating was systemic in Russian athletics, and Vitaly's employer, the Russian anti-doping agency, was not exposing, but, in fact, enabling the cheating. Vitaly was fired in 2011. Prior to that he had held several positions, including as an adviser to the director of the agency.
In 2013, Yuliya received a two-year ban from the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) because of past doping infractions.The WADA commission's investigation didn't begin until December 2014, and only after the Stepanovs went public in a sensational German documentary about their allegations.
The IAAF apparently knew about Russian doping years before an done of their upper echelon is being investigated for his ties. WADA wasn't all that anxious to get involved wither until Stepanovs went public.
Where this ends is hard to say but Stepanovs and Rodchenkov need to be careful with whom they have tea and avoid high rise apartments with balconies. Hard to avoid guns or car bombs though.