A surprising new report by the Associated Press sheds light on the international censorship occurring at Russia’s anti-doping agency. AP reporters Bilbo Poynter and Nataliya Vasilyeva have identified a climate of corruption within the agency which, as the agency did little to punish those who were allegedly cheating during the Winter Olympics, is also prone to informing on athletes who might be trying to conceal their doping. According to the agency’s own audit published in 2017, about 80 percent of the drug tests it performed in Russia were part of unannounced surprise examinations by the World Anti-Doping Agency. Now Poynter and Vasilyeva report that many of the inspectors stationed at the site of the site of the Sochi Games to administer those unannounced tests were also in on the doping cartel’s game:

“A state auditor also says Russia’s anti-doping agency saw individuals specializing in monitoring drugs and doping, bribes for urine samples, bribes for awards to non-doping athletes, and intimidation of drug testers,” Poynter and Vasilyeva report.

From the AP:

“Doping authorities conspired to cover up the doping of hundreds of Russian athletes, usually by substituting urine samples with fake ones, according to the internal audit, by independent investigators at the WADA-accredited laboratory in Lausanne, Switzerland.

The secret papers also included details about how Putin’s spies monitored athletes in return for doped samples, and how testers were threatened in order to ensure they gave negative reports.

“Severe pressure was also placed on the inspectors,” according to the audit, which was prepared by all-around expert Nikolai Masin.

Now Poynter and Vasilyeva report, Russian officials deny that they broke any rules, and the country’s president, Vladimir Putin, at a press conference later this month described this as “premature” at the time of publication.