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Bombshell report 'confirmed the existence of widespread cheating' in track and field that could keep Russia out of the 2016 Olympics

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AP: Massive Doping Scandal Rocks Sports

It's Black Monday for the world of track and field.

An independent report ordered by WADA, the World Anti-Doping Agency, was released Monday that "confirmed the existence of widespread cheating through the use of doping substances and methods to ensure, or enhance the likelihood of, victory for athletes and teams."

In particular, the report accuses Russia of sponsoring, covering up, and perpetuating a culture of cheating among athletes and coaches across all levels of the sport.

The report has recommended that the IAAF, track's international governing body, suspend the ARAF, or All-Russian Athletics Federation.

This could lead to Russia being excluded from the 2016 Olympic games.

The 325-page report comes down to five main findings:

  1. A deeply rooted culture of cheating — "The investigation indicates that the acceptance of cheating at all levels is widespread and of long standing. Many of the more egregious offenders appear to be coaches who, themselves, were once athletes and who work in connection with medical personnel."
  2. Exploitation of athletes — "As a result of this mindset, an open and accepted series of unethical behaviours and practices has become the norm. In addition, the pursuit of medals and exploitation of athletes for financial gain is well pronounced across Russian athletics. Russian athletes were often willing participants. However, there are documented cases where athletes who did not want to participate in 'the program' were informed they would not be considered as part of the federation's national team for competition."
  3. Confirmed athletes cheating — "This report outlines consistent and systematic use of performance enhancing drugs by many Russian athletes. This report also identified a high percentage of athletes who were unwilling to participate in the [independent commission] investigation."
  4. Confirmed involvement by doctors, coaches, and laboratory personnel — "This report confirms allegations that some Russian doctors and/or laboratory personnel acted as enablers for systematic cheating along with athletics coaches. This report also identifies the intentional and malicious destruction of more than 1,400 samples by Moscow laboratory officials after receiving written notification from WADA to preserve target samples."
  5. Corruption and bribery within IAAF — "This report also identifies corruption and bribery practices at the highest levels of international athletics, evidence of which has been transmitted to Interpol for appropriate investigation."

The report adds that its complete findings won't be revealed until the relevant authorities decide whether or not they will lay criminal charges against certain individuals. The report's full findings are set to be released by year-end.

Also take a look back at the Sochi Olympics:

20 PHOTOS
A look back on the Sochi Olympics
See Gallery
Bombshell report 'confirmed the existence of widespread cheating' in track and field that could keep Russia out of the 2016 Olympics
SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 07: Snowflakes transform into four Olympic rings with one failing to form during the Opening Ceremony of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Fisht Olympic Stadium on February 7, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)
SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 11: Shaun White of the United States crashes out in the Snowboard Men's Halfpipe Finals on day four of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park on February 11, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 08: Qingshuang Yue of China during curling training on day 1 of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at the Ice Cube on February 8, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 08: Ashley Wagner of the United States reacts to her score after competing in the Figure Skating Team Ladies Short Program during day one of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Iceberg Skating Palace on February 8, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Darren Cummings/Pool/Getty Images)
SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 08: Team Canada talk before thre game prior to the Women's Ice Hockey Preliminary Round Group A Game against Switzerland on day 1 of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Shayba Arena on February 8, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images)
SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 15: Kamil Stoch of Poland jumps during the Men`s Large Hill Individual 1st Round on day 8 of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at RusSki Gorki Jumping Center on February 15, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)
SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 12: Eric Frenzel of Germany celebrates as he wins the gold medal during the Nordic Combined Individual Gundersen Normal Hill and 10km Cross Country on day 5 of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at the RusSki Gorki Nordic Combined Skiing Stadium on February 12, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)
SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 14: Hansin Lee of South Korea starts a run during the Men's Skeleton heats on Day 7 of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Sliding Center Sanki on February 14, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 21: Krystyna Palka of Poland competes during the Women's 4 x 6 km Relay during day 14 of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Laura Cross-country Ski & Biathlon Center on February 21, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)
SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 07: Jo Alexander Koppang of Norway in the Luge during a training session ahead of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at the Sanki Sliding Center on February 7, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 13: Elise Christie of Great Britain (C) falls and collides with Seung-Hi Park of South Korea (L) and Arianna Fontana of Italy (R) as she competes in the Short Track Speed Skating Ladies' 500 m Final on day 6 of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at at Iceberg Skating Palace on February 13, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 15: Anna Fenninger of Austria in action during the Alpine Skiing Women's Super-G on day 8 of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Rosa Khutor Alpine Center on February 15, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 09: Sarah Hendrickson of the United States jumps during the Ladies' Normal Hill Individual Ski Jumping training on day 2 of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at RusSki Gorki Jumping Center on February 9, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 14: Lydia Lassila of Australia practices before the Freestyle Skiing Ladies' Aerials Qualification on day seven of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park on February 14, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 21: (L-R) Fanny Smith of Switzerland, Anna Holmlund of Sweden, Katrin Ofner of Austria and Kelsey Serwa of Canada compete in the Freestyle Skiing Womens' Ski Cross Semi Finals on day 14 of the 2014 Winter Olympics at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park on February 21, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 12: Gold medalist Eric Frenzel of Germany jumps in celebration alongside silver medalist Akito Watabe of Japan (L) and bronze medalist Magnus Krog of Norway (R) during the flower ceremony for the Men?s Nordic Combined Individual Gundersen Normal Hill and 10km Cross Country on day 5 of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at the RusSki Gorki Nordic Combined Skiing Stadium on February 12, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 14: Lydia Lassila of Australia competes in the Freestyle Skiing Ladies' Aerials Qualification on day seven of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park on February 14, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 22: Sami Vatanen #45 and Tuomo Ruutu #15 of Finland celebrate with teammates after defeating the United States 5-0 during the Men's Ice Hockey Bronze Medal Game on Day 15 of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics at Bolshoy Ice Dome on February 22, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images)
(From L) Canada's gold medallists Duncan Keith, goalkeeper Carey Price and Jonathan Toews celebrate during the Men's Ice Hockey Medal Ceremony at the Bolshoy Ice Dome during the Sochi Winter Olympics on February 23, 2014. AFP PHOTO / JONATHAN NACKSTRAND (Photo credit should read JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images)
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And so said another way, this report comes up short of "naming names," though this information looks set to be released in the next several weeks.

Last week, former IAAF president Lamine Diack was placed under formal investigation by French authorities after France's financial prosecutor alleged Diack, "received bribes in 2011 to cover up positive doping tests of Russian athletes," according to The Guardian. Sebastian Coe, current president of the IAAF and one of Britain's most decorated track & field athletes, called these allegations "abhorrent."

In August, WADA announced it would launch this investigation (the initial findings of which have been released today), after a report from German broadcaster ARD/WDR said that about a third of all medals in long-distance track events between the 2001 world championships and the 2012 Olympics were won by athletes with suspicious drug tests.

These suspicious medalists included 55 gold-medal winners.

Later that same month, Turkish runner Asli Cakir-Alptekin was stripped of her gold medal in the 1500m from the 2012 Olympics after being caught cheating. Cakir-Alptekin is banned from the sport until January 2021.

But Monday's report, unfortunately, is merely the latest black mark during what has been several long months for the sport.

In the US, distance running had a tumultuous summer after a report from ProPublica accused Alberto Salazar -- the head of Nike's Oregon Project professional distance running group and the pre-eminent distance coach in the US -- of improperly experimenting with treatments for some of his athletes, including Galen Rupp, the most successful US distance runner in a generation and a silver medalist in the 10,000 meters at the London Olympics.

Salazar later issued an extremely lengthy and detailed response refuting the allegations made by ProPublica.

And so of course few track fans will be totally surprised by allegations of cheating in track & field, which has a long and ignominious history of drugs tainting international championships and the sport's world record book.

But Monday's report, which could lead to the exclusion of one of the sport's most successful countries from the next Olympics, could take this long and depressing history to another level.

Related: See how Rio is preparing for the upcoming Olympics:

23 PHOTOS
NTP: Rio Prepares for the 2016 Olympics
See Gallery
Bombshell report 'confirmed the existence of widespread cheating' in track and field that could keep Russia out of the 2016 Olympics
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 27: Passengers ride on the first day of pre-operations on the partially re-opened Santa Teresa tram line, or 'bonde', on July 27, 2015 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The historic tram has been closed since a derailing accident in 2011 which left six dead and fifty injured. The first stretch to re-open covers about one kilometer of the scenic ten kilometer route. It has been operating since the late 19th century and is one of the oldest electric streetcar lines in Latin America. Rio is working on various transportation upgrade projects ahead of the games. August 5 marks the one-year mark to the start of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 27: Passengers ride on the first day of pre-operations on the partially re-opened Santa Teresa tram line, or 'bonde', on July 27, 2015 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The historic tram has been closed since a derailing accident in 2011 which left six dead and fifty injured. The first stretch to re-open covers about one kilometer of the scenic ten kilometer route. It has been operating since the late 19th century and is one of the oldest electric streetcar lines in Latin America. Rio is working on various transportation upgrade projects ahead of the games. August 5 marks the one-year mark to the start of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 27: The conductor (R) makes an adjustment on the first day of pre-operations on the partially re-opened Santa Teresa tram line, or 'bonde', on July 27, 2015 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The historic tram has been closed since a derailing accident in 2011 which left six dead and fifty injured. The first stretch to re-open covers about one kilometer of the scenic ten kilometer route. It has been operating since the late 19th century and is one of the oldest electric streetcar lines in Latin America. Rio is working on various transportation upgrade projects ahead of the games. August 5 marks the one-year mark to the start of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 27: The tram passes across the Lapa Arches on the first day of pre-operations on the partially re-opened Santa Teresa tram line, or 'bonde', on July 27, 2015 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The historic tram has been closed since a derailing accident in 2011 which left six dead and fifty injured. The first stretch to re-open covers about one kilometer of the scenic ten kilometer route. It has been operating since the late 19th century and is one of the oldest electric streetcar lines in Latin America. Rio is working on various transportation upgrade projects ahead of the games. August 5 marks the one-year mark to the start of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 27: A worker (C) uses a rope to adjust an overhead electrical connection on the first day of pre-operations on the partially re-opened Santa Teresa tram line, or 'bonde', on July 27, 2015 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The historic tram has been closed since a derailing accident in 2011 which left six dead and fifty injured. The first stretch to re-open covers about one kilometer of the scenic ten kilometer route. It has been operating since the late 19th century and is one of the oldest electric streetcar lines in Latin America. Rio is working on various transportation upgrade projects ahead of the games. August 5 marks the one-year mark to the start of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 24: Alessandra washes kitchen items with a small hose amidst the rubble of destroyed homes in the Metro-Mangueira community, or 'favela', located approximately 750 meters from Maracana stadium, on July 24, 2015 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Maracana will be the site of the opening ceremonies of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and was the site of the 2014 World Cup final. The homes were thought to have been knocked down for a parking lot for the stadium, though that has not been built. At its peak the 'favela' housed around 700 families. Evictions and demolitions continue in the area and have occurred in numerous other Rio communities with tangential links to the global sporting events. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 24: Mounted police officer patrol the perimeter of the famed Maracana stadium on July 24, 2015 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Maracana will be the site of the opening ceremonies of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and was the site of the 2014 World Cup final. August 5 marks the one-year mark to the start of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 24: People gather near the rubble of destroyed homes in the Metro-Mangueira community, or 'favela', located approximately 750 meters from Maracana stadium, on July 24, 2015 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Maracana will be the site of the opening ceremonies of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and was the site of the 2014 World Cup final. The homes were thought to have been knocked down for a parking lot for the stadium, though that has not been built. At its peak the 'favela' housed around 700 families. Evictions and demolitions continue in the area and have occurred in numerous other Rio communities with tangential links to the global sporting events. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 28: Waitress Vanessa poses between waiting tables on Copacabana beach on July 28, 2015 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The famed beach will host various Olympic events including beach volleyball, cycling, open water marathon and triathlon. August 5 marks the one-year mark to the start of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 24: Elizabeta Queiroz curls her hair in front of her makeshift home amidst the rubble of destroyed homes in the Metro-Mangueira community, or 'favela', located approximately 750 meters from Maracana stadium, on July 24, 2015 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Maracana will be the site of the opening ceremonies of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and was the site of the 2014 World Cup final. The homes were thought to have been knocked down for a parking lot for the stadium, though that has not been built. At its peak the 'favela' housed around 700 families. Evictions and demolitions continue in the area and have occurred in numerous other Rio communities with tangential links to the global sporting events. August 5 marks the one-year mark to the start of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 24: A statue stands in front of Maracana stadium on July 24, 2015 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Maracana will be the site of the opening ceremonies of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and was the site of the 2014 World Cup final. August 5 marks the one-year mark to the start of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 28: Brazilians play soccer on Copacabana beach on July 28, 2015 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The famed beach will host various Olympic events including beach volleyball, cycling, open water marathon and triathlon. August 5 marks the one-year mark to the start of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 24: Seats line Maracana stadium on July 24, 2015 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Maracana will be the site of the opening ceremonies of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and was the site of the 2014 World Cup final. August 5 marks the one-year mark to the start of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 24: Kids play amidst the rubble of destroyed homes in the Metro-Mangueira community, or 'favela', located approximately 750 meters from Maracana stadium, on July 24, 2015 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Maracana will be the site of the opening ceremonies of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and was the site of the 2014 World Cup final. The homes were thought to have been knocked down for a parking lot for the stadium, though that has not been built. At its peak the 'favela' housed around 700 families. Evictions and demolitions continue in the area and have occurred in numerous other Rio communities with tangential links to the global sporting events. August 5 marks the one-year mark to the start of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 24: Alessandra washes kitchen items with a small hose amidst the rubble of destroyed homes in the Metro-Mangueira community, or 'favela', located approximately 750 meters from Maracana stadium, on July 24, 2015 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Maracana will be the site of the opening ceremonies of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and was the site of the 2014 World Cup final. The homes were thought to have been knocked down for a parking lot for the stadium, though that has not been built. At its peak the 'favela' housed around 700 families. Evictions and demolitions continue in the area and have occurred in numerous other Rio communities with tangential links to the global sporting events. August 5 marks the one-year mark to the start of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 24: People play soccer during a tour of the famed Maracana stadium on July 24, 2015 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Maracana will be the site of the opening ceremonies of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and was the site of the 2014 World Cup final. August 5 marks the one-year mark to the start of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 24: Mounted police officers patrol the perimeter of the famed Maracana stadium on July 24, 2015 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Maracana will be the site of the opening ceremonies of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and was the site of the 2014 World Cup final. August 5 marks the one-year mark to the start of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 24: People stand while on a tour of the famed Maracana stadium on July 24, 2015 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Maracana will be the site of the opening ceremonies of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and was the site of the 2014 World Cup final. August 5 marks the one-year mark to the start of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 28: A wave breaks near bodyboarders on Copacabana beach on July 28, 2015 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The famed beach will host various Olympic events including beach volleyball, cycling, open water marathon and triathlon. August 5 marks the one-year mark to the start of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 28: A vendor transports beach chairs on Copacabana beach on July 28, 2015 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The famed beach will host various Olympic events including beach volleyball, cycling, open water marathon and triathlon. August 5 marks the one-year mark to the start of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 28: Dogs stand on the sidewalk on Copacabana beach on July 28, 2015 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The famed beach will host various Olympic events including beach volleyball, cycling, open water marathon and triathlon. August 5 marks the one-year mark to the start of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 27: Passengers (R) ride on the first day of pre-operations on the partially re-opened Santa Teresa tram line, or 'bonde', on July 27, 2015 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The historic tram has been closed since a derailing accident in 2011 which left six dead and fifty injured. The first stretch to re-open covers about one kilometer of the scenic ten kilometer route. It has been operating since the late 19th century and is one of the oldest electric streetcar lines in Latin America. Rio is working on various transportation upgrade projects ahead of the games. August 5 marks the one-year mark to the start of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
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