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".