Doping in Russian sports has a systemic nature.
Russia has 49
Olympic medals stripped for doping violations – the most of any country, four times the number of the runner-up, and more than a third of the global total. From 2011 to 2015, more than a thousand Russian competitors in various sports, including summer, winter, and Paralympic sports, benefited from a
Media attention began growing in December 2014 when German broadcaster
ARD reported on state-sponsored doping in Russia, comparing it to
doping in East Germany. In November 2015, the
World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) published a report and the
International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) suspended Russia indefinitely from world track and field events. The United Kingdom Anti-Doping agency later assisted WADA with testing in Russia. In June 2016, they reported that they were unable to fully carry out their work and noted intimidation by armed
Federal Security Service (FSB) agents.
 After a Russian former lab director made allegations about the
2014 Winter Olympics in
Sochi, WADA commissioned an independent investigation led by
Richard McLaren. McLaren's investigation found corroborating evidence, concluding in a report published in July 2016 that the
Ministry of Sport and the FSB had operated a "state-directed failsafe system" using a "disappearing positive [test] methodology" (DPM) from "at least late 2011 to August 2015".
In response to these findings, WADA announced that RUSADA should be regarded as non-compliant with respect to the World Anti-Doping Code and recommended that Russia be banned from competing at the
2016 Summer Olympics.
International Olympic Commission (IOC) rejected the recommendation, stating that the IOC and each sport's
international federation would make decisions on each athlete's individual basis.
 One day prior to the opening ceremony, 278 athletes were cleared to compete under the Russian flag, while 111 were removed because of doping.
 In contrast, the entire Kuwaiti team was banned from competing under their own flag (for a non-doping related matter).
Unlike the IOC, the
International Paralympic Committee voted unanimously to ban the entire
Russian team from the
2016 Summer Paralympics and suspended the
Russian Paralympic Committee, having found evidence that the DPM was also in operation at the
2014 Winter Paralympics.
In November 2017, the IOC
disciplinary commission wrote that "the sample-swapping scheme was one of the worst ever blows against the integrity and reputation of the
 On 5 December 2017, the IOC voted to ban Russia from the
2018 Winter Olympics and to suspend the
Russian Olympic Committee. Russian athletes may be allowed to participate under the
Olympic flag if cleared by a panel led by
Valerie Fourneyron, which will feature representatives from the IOC, the
World Anti-Doping Agency, and the Doping Free Sport Unit of the
Global Association of International Sports Federations.