Dozens of Russian track athletes mysteriously call in sick before drug testing

Russia's got another doping scandal on its hands. Over the weekend, 36 Russian athletes mysteriously dropped out of a track-and-field event in Siberia when drug testers unexpectedly dropped by. Most of them cited illness as the reason, but they are already under investigation. The President of Russia's Athetics Federation, Dmitry Shlyakhtin, also isn't really buying the reasoning.

The TASS Russian News Agency, run by the state, quoted Shlyakhtin as saying: "To say that for us all that happened was a surprise, it would be wrong. On the contrary, we ourselves went to this, prepared this situation, because we understand that we have a lot of problems at the bottom, stated that without the help of [Russian Anti-Doping Agency] we will not be able to improve this situation."

He went on to say that "our suspicions that the doping situation is not successful in all regions has increased even more, but I can not say that the athletes have withdrawn from the competition because they used illegal drugs until the relevant documents have been received.

"I will repeat the doping problem at the grassroots level, I am convinced that such sudden visits to doping services will be regular."

Russia, of course, was banned from the 2018 Winter Olympics by the International Olympic Committee in the wake of a massive doping scandal.  

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