Is Russian Doping What It Appears To Be?

Posted on 08 April, 2020 by Jovana Subić

This analysis covers 29,190 results achieved by 354 Russian athletes, dispersed over 4,691 events, during the 1993-2019 period. 

 

Doping in Russia intrographic

 

Given the current controversy regarding doping at the Olympic Games, with a specific focus on Russian athletes, we decided to see what the actual numbers have to say. For this purpose, we focused only on athletics (track and field) and analyzed the results of Russian athletes who competed at the Summer Olympic Games during the 1993-2019 period.

Terminology

Clean athletes - athletes who have never been disqualified for doping.
Banned athletes - athletes who were disqualified for doping.
Regular results - banned athletes’ results achieved when they were not disqualified.
Disqualified (DQ) results - banned athletes’ results achieved during their disqualification period.

The main focus points

  1. Share of disqualified results by year, country, discipline, and athlete
  2. How the results of clean athletes compare to the results of banned athletes
  3. How the disqualified results compare to regular results

Key takeaways

  • Clean athletes performed better than banned athletes in 6 out of 21 disciplines, with the biggest differences in Hammer Throw Men (3.25%), Javelin Throw Women (2.63%), and 400 Metres Hurdles Women (2.30%)
  • The biggest differences in favor of banned athletes are seen in Hammer Throw Women (6.98% or 4.39m), Heptathlon Women (6.66% or 402.3 points), Discus Throw Women (6.27% or 2.54m). 
  • Women have 4x greater share of banned athletes than men.
  • When analyzing banned athletes’ results, in 5 out of 28 disciplines their regular results are better than their disqualified results. Outside of their disqualification period, athletes performed better in Triple Jump Women (0.59%), Shot Put Women (0.23%), Shot Put Men (0.07%), 20 Kilometres Race Walk Women (0.03%), 20 Kilometres Race Walk Men (0.02%).
  • The biggest differences in favor of disqualified are seen in: Javelin Throw Women (9.84%), Marathon Women (5.35%), 3000 Metres Steeplechase Women (4.46%).
  • In 2007, 220 Russian athletes achieved 1,743 results. By 2019, the number of results decreased by 92.77%  and the number of athletes by 88.18%.
  • The highest share of disqualified results was recorded in the 2009-2015 period. The peak happened in 2013 when 23.51% of achieved results were the disqualified ones. 
  • Korea (40.68%), Morocco (40.00%), and China (32.04%) are countries that hosted competitions with the highest share of disqualified results achieved by Russian athletes.

 

Analysis in numbers

Number of results 

29,190

Number of events

4,691

Number of banned athletes

92

Number of banned athletes’ results

8,388

Number of clean athletes

262

Number of clean athletes’ results

20,802

Time period 

1993-2019

Number of disciplines 

104 

 

Women vs. men
 

Women

Men

Number of athletes

198

156

Number of clean athletes

132

130

Number of banned athletes

66

26

Number of all results

17,310

11,880

Number of clean athletes’ results

10,685

10,117

Number of banned athletes’ results

6,625

1,763

Number of disciplines

50 

54 

Women have 4x bigger share of banned athletes than men. Out of 198 women, 33.33% were clean and 66.67% were banned. When it comes to men, out of 156, 83.33% were clean and 16.67% were banned. 

Share of Disqualified Results

Share of disqualified results per year

After 2007, we see a decrease in the number of overall results. The highest share of disqualified results was recorded in the 2009-2015 period. In no other years were over 10% of all results disqualified. The peak occurred in 2013 when 23.51% of achieved results were disqualified.

 

Year

Number of DQ results

Number of all results

% of DQ results

1993-2005

25

16,912

0.15

2006

10

1,689

0.59

2007

47

1,743

2.70

2008

72

1,572

4.58

2009

121

1,290

9.38

2010

129

1,165

11.07

2011

142

1,180

12.03

2012

181

1,076

16.82

2013

182

774

23.51

2014

111

557

19.93

2015

72

444

16.22

2016

9

288

3.12

2017

2

224

0.89

2018

1

150

0.67

2019

0

126

0.00

 

Even though there’s a decrease in the number of results over time, the share of disqualified results follows a different trend. They increase with a peak in 2013. From 2013 until today, the share of disqualified results has declined.

In 2007, 220 Russian athletes achieved 1,743 results. By 2019, the number of results decreased by 92.77% and the number of athletes by 88.18% (126 results achieved by 26 athletes).

Number of Russian athletes results by year

 

Percentage of disqualified results for each year

Participating Russian athletes by year

 

Share of disqualified results per country

Among 63 countries where Russian Olympic athletes competed, the highest share of their disqualified results came in Korea (40.68%), Morocco (40.00%), China (32.04%), Great Britain (29.90%) and Croatia (28.57%). This share is 10.03% for competitions held in Russia. Canada is last on the list with only 3.33% of disqualified results.

Click to view the complete list:

 

Country

Number of regular results

Number of dq results

Number of all results

% of DQ results

KOR

35

24

59

40.68

MAR

15

10

25

40.00

CHN

70

33

103

32.04

GBR

143

61

204

29.90

HRV

45

18

63

28.57

SVN

11

4

15

26.67

MNE

3

1

4

25.00

SEN

6

2

8

25.00

CHE

138

43

181

23.76

QAT

33

10

43

23.26

CZE

74

21

95

22.11

BEL

77

21

98

21.43

PRT

74

20

94

21.28

NOR

47

11

58

18.97

DEU

306

69

375

18.40

SWE

120

27

147

18.37

ITA

284

59

343

17.20

JPN

69

14

83

16.87

POL

74

15

89

16.85

SVK

41

8

49

16.33

NLD

21

4

25

16.00

FRA

238

42

280

15.00

BGR

6

1

7

14.29

USA

160

26

186

13.98

ESP

180

29

209

13.88

AUT

32

5

37

13.51

FRA

53

8

61

13.11

EST

48

7

55

12.73

RUS

4277

477

4754

10.03

HUN

58

6

64

9.38

FIN

62

6

68

8.82

LTU

12

1

13

7.69

GRC

200

16

216

7.41

IND

14

1

15

6.67

TUR

34

2

36

5.56

UKR

19

1

20

5.00

CAN

29

1

30

3.33

AUS

50

0

50

0.00

BIH

1

0

1

0.00

BLR

12

0

12

0.00

BRA

7

0

7

0.00

CHL

4

0

4

0.00

COL

4

0

4

0.00

DNK

2

0

2

0.00

DOM

1

0

1

0.00

IRL

2

0

2

0.00

ISR

6

0

6

0.00

JAM

5

0

5

0.00

LVA

18

0

18

0.00

LUX

1

0

1

0.00

MEX

9

0

9

0.00

MLT

3

0

3

0.00

NZL

5

0

5

0.00

PRI

3

0

3

0.00

ROU

2

0

2

0.00

ZAF

6

0

6

0.00

SGP

6

0

6

0.00

SRB

11

0

11

0.00

THA

10

0

10

0.00

CHN

3

0

3

0.00

ARE

3

0

3

0.00

VEN

1

0

1

0.00

DZA

1

0

1

0.00

Countries that haven’t been mentioned didn’t host any Russian athletes in competitions.

 

Number of achieved results in each country

 

Share of dq results for each country

 

 

The dirtiest and cleanest Olympic disciplines

By looking at the share of disqualified results for each discipline, the top 5 dirtiest (with the biggest % of disqualified results) and cleanest (with the smallest % of disqualified results) Olympic disciplines for women and men are listed.

 

Cleanest disciplines - Women

Discipline

Number of DQ results

Number of all results

% of DQ results

100 Metres Women

0

878

0.00

400 Metres Hurdles Women

0

592

0.00

Pole Vault Women

0

530

0.00

200 Metres Women

35

971

3.60

High Jump Women

49

975

5.03

 

 

Dirtiest disciplines - Women

Discipline

Number of DQ results

Number of all results

% of DQ results

1500 Metres Women

70

562

12.46

Hammer Throw Women

117

952

12.29

20 Kilometres Race Walk Women

18

150

12.00

Javelin Throw Women

55

495

11.11

3000 Metres Steeplechase Women

13

138

9.42

Cleanest disciplines - Men

Discipline

Number of DQ results

Number of all results

% of DQ results

Long Jump Men

0

602

0.0

Javelin Throw Men

0

548

0.0

800 Metres Men

0

374

0.0

100 Metres Men

0

335

0.0

400 Metres Hurdles Men

0

331

0.0

 

 

Dirtiest disciplines - Men

Discipline

Number of DQ results

Number of all results

% of DQ results

50 Kilometres Race Walk Men

11

97

11.34

3000 Metres Steeplechase Men

24

247

9.72

20 Kilometres Race Walk Men

15

163

9.20

High Jump Men

30

669

4.48

400 Metres Men

24

537

4.47

 

Individual share of disqualified results

Individual results of banned athletes were analyzed by comparing the number of their regular and disqualified results, across all disciplines combined. Only those who had at least 5 results in each result group (regular and disqualified) were taken into account.

 

Top 5 women with the highest share of disqualified results

Athlete

Number of DQ results

Number of regular results

% of DQ results

Tatyana Chernova

20

8

71.43

Yelizaveta Grechishnikova

12

11

52.17

Kornikova-kirdyapkina Anisiya

11

21

34.38

Olga Kaniskina

11

22

33.33

Darya Pishchalnikova

32

65

32.99

 

Top 5 men with the highest share of disqualified results

Athlete

Number of DQ results

Number of regular results

% of DQ results

Minshin Ildar

49

54

47.57

Sergey Kirdyapkin

8

9

47.06

Denis Alekseyev

20

30

40.00

Valeriy Borchin

8

12

40.00

Igor Yerokhin

6

15

28.57

 

Top 5 women with the lowest share of disqualified results

Athlete

Number of DQ results

Number of regular results

% of DQ results

Kuzenkova Olga

5

121

3.97

Yakovenko Mariya

5

89

5.32

Yegorova Olga

7

112

5.88

Poistogova Yekaterina

5

78

6.02

Pyatykh Anna

13

200

6.10

 

Top 5 men with the lowest share of disqualified results

Athlete

Number of DQ results

Number of regular results

% of DQ results

Kirill Ikonnikov

6

70

7.89

Borisov Yevgeniy

7

72

8.86

Tsirikhov Soslan

10

98

9.26

Lyukman Adams

15

97

13.39

Aleksandr Pogorelov

5

32

13.51

Clean vs. banned athletes

The average results of banned and clean athletes are compared here, with the difference shown in percentages. All the showcased results in this section are statistically significant, as pointed out with significance levels for each discipline.

 

Discipline

Banned

Clean

Difference [%]

Significance level

200 Metres Women

22.83

22.95

-0.52

97.6

400 Metres Men

45.96

46.32

-0.78

99.8

400 Metres Hurdles Women

57.25

55.96

2.30

99.9

800 Metres Women

02:02.01

02:01.25

0.62

99.9

1500 Metres Men

03:47.96

03:43.08

2.12

99.9

1500 Metres Women

04:09.55

04:11.55

-0.80

97.5

5000 Metres Women

15:26.98

15:37.93

-1.17

99.4

20 Kilometres Race Walk Women

01:28:13.34

01:30:08.34

-2.13

99.9

Discus Throw Men

64.09

60.31

6.27

99.9

Discus Throw Women

60.09

57.55

4.41

99.9

Hammer Throw Men

73.44

75.91

-3.25

99.9

Hammer Throw Women

67.21

62.82

6.98

99.9

Heptathlon Women

6441.04

6038.74

6.66

99.9

High Jump Men

2.27

2.24

1.35

99.9

High Jump Women

1.93

1.90

1.55

99.9

Javelin Throw Women

57.97

59.54

-2.63

99.9

Long Jump Women

6.62

6.57

0.76

97.5

Pole Vault Men

5.47

5.56

-1.60

99.9

Shot Put Men

19.46

19.30

0.82

95.0

Shot Put Women

18.39

17.59

4.59

99.9

Triple Jump Women

14.29

13.99

2.17

99.9

The results of banned athletes are better than clean athletes’ results in 15 out of 21 disciplines.

The biggest differences, in favor of banned athletes, we see in Hammer Throw Women (6.98% or 4.39m), Heptathlon Women (6.66% or 402.3 points), Discus Throw Women (6.27% or 2.54m).

The biggest differences, in favor of clean athletes, we see in Hammer Throw Men (3.25% or 2.47m), Javelin Throw Women (2.63% 1.57m), and 400 Metres Hurdles Women (2.30% or 1.29s).

In Shot Put, High Jump and Discus Throw banned athletes in both women and men disciplines outperformed clean athletes. However, in Hammer Throw and 1500 Metres, banned athletes only outperformed clean athletes in female disciplines. In these disciplines, clean men have better results than banned men.

Click below to look at comparison graphs for all disciplines.

20 Kilometres Race Walk Women

 

200 Metres Women

 

400 Metres Men

400 Metres Women

 

800 Metres Men

 

800 Metres Women

 

1500 Metres Men

 

1500 Metres Women

 

5000 Metres Men

 

5000 Metres Women

 

Decathlon Men

 

Discus Throw Men

 

Discus Throw Women

 

Hammer Throw Men

 

Hammer Throw Women

 

Heptathlon Women

 

High Jump Men

 

High Jump Women

 

Javelin Throw Women

 

Long Jump Women

 

Pole Vault Men

 

Shot Put Men

 

Shot Put Women

 

Triple Jump Women

 

 

 

 

 

7 disciplines have more results from banned athletes than results from clean athletes.

Number of results for each track discipline

 

Field disciplines in number of results

 

Regular vs. Disqualified Results 

The average regular and disqualified results of banned athletes are compared here. All of the showcased disciplines in this section have passed the sample size test (more than 5 results in each result group). Statistically significant disciplines are marked with *.

  • In all 10 statistically significant disciplines, disqualified results are better than regular results
  • The largest advantage for disqualified results is seen in: Javelin Throw Women (9.84%), Marathon Women (5.35%), 3000 Metres Steeplechase Women (4.46%)
  • In 5 out of 28 disciplines, regular results are better than the disqualified results: Triple Jump Women (0.59%), Shot Put Women (0.23%), Shot Put Men (0.07%), 20 Kilometres Race Walk Women (0.03%), 20 Kilometres Race Walk Men (0.02%).

 

Track disciplines: Regular vs. disqualified results

Discipline

Regular

Disqualified

Difference [%]

400 Metres Men

00:46.1

00:45.7

-0.79

1500 Metres Men

03:49.0

03:46.1

-1.28

3000 Metres Steeplechase Men

08:38.8

08:34.6

-0.83

20 Kilometres Race Walk Men

1:21:07

1:21:08

0.02

50 Kilometres Race Walk Men*

3:48:01

3:40:58

-3.19

100 Metres Hurdles Women

00:12.8

00:12.6

-1.36

200 Metres Women

00:22.8

00:22.7

-0.44

400 Metres Women*

00:51.9

00:50.6

-2.70

800 Metres Women*

02:02.3

02:00.1

-1.84

1500 Metres Women*

04:10.7

04:05.1

-2.31

3000 Metres Steeplechase Women*

09:47.4

09:22.3

-4.46

5000 Metres Women

15:27.0

15:26.5

-0.05

10,000 Metres Women

32:10.8

31:44.5

-1.38

20 Kilometres Race Walk Women

1:28:13

1:28:15

0.03

Marathon Women*

2:34:30

2:26:39

-5.35

 

Field disciplines: Regular vs. disqualified results

Discipline

Regular

Disqualified

Difference [%]

Decathlon Men

7978

8282

3.82

Hammer Throw Men*

73.32

76.47

4.30

High Jump Men*

2.25

2.30

2.20

Pole Vault Men

5.46

5.52

1.10

Shot Put Men

19.46

19.45

-0.07

Triple Jump Men

16.55

16.71

0.95

Discus Throw Women

62.57

63.16

0.94

Hammer Throw Women*

68.71

70.42

2.48

High Jump Women

1.94

1.96

0.74

Javelin Throw Women*

58.62

64.39

9.84

Long Jump Women

6.69

6.75

0.97

Shot Put Women

18.75

18.70

-0.23

Triple Jump Women

14.48

14.39

-0.59

 

Regular and disqualified results in track disciplines

 

Field disciplines in numbers of results

 

Individual performance analysis

The individual performances of banned athletes were analyzed by looking at their average regular and average disqualified results for each Olympic discipline they competed in. Only those who had at least 5 results in each result group (regular and disqualified) were taken into account.

The biggest difference among female athletes in favor of disqualified results is 13.82%, while, among male athletes, the biggest difference is 3.82%. The biggest differences are seen in field-specific events, for both women and men.

 

Top 5 women who performed better when disqualified

Athlete

Discipline

Regular results

DQ results

Difference [%]

Darya Pishchalnikova

Discus Throw Women

56.23

64.00

13.82

Yevgeniya Kolodko

Shot Put Women

17.11

19.07

11.42

Mariya Bespalova

Hammer Throw Women

62.00

68.78

10.94

Mariya Abakumova

Javelin Throw Women

58.66

64.57

10.07

Bulgakova Anna

Hammer Throw Women

64.93

70.94

9.25

 

Top 5 men who performed better when disqualified

Athlete

Discipline

Regular results

DQ results

Difference [%]

Aleksandr Pogorelov

Decathlon Men

7977.59

8282

3.82

Kirill Ikonnikov

Hammer Throw Men

74.07

76.51

3.29

Tsirikhov Soslan

Shot Put Men

19.06

19.51

2.35

Ivan Ukhov

High Jump Men

2.25

2.30

2.20

Dmitry Starodubtsev

Pole Vault Men

5.46

5.52

1.10

 

For some athletes, their regular results actually outperformed their DQ’d results.

This is most evident in the female field competitions - particularly the javelin where regular results were up to 5.76% better than disqualified results. Men, on the other hand, only have 3 disciplines where regular results were better than disqualified results and those are all track disciplines.

 

Top 5 women who performed better when not disqualified

Athlete

Discipline

Regular results

DQ results

Difference [%]

Yakovenko Mariya

Javelin Throw Women

54.19

51.07

5.76

Svetlana Krivelyova

Shot Put Women

19.16

18.28

4.62

Andrianova Tatyana

800 Metres Women

02:01.9

02:05.2

2.72

Tatyana Lebedeva

Long Jump Women

6.82

6.72

1.44

Pyatykh Anna

Triple Jump Women

14.29

14.12

1.21

 

Top 3 men who performed better when not disqualified

Athlete

Discipline

Regular results

DQ results

Difference [%]

Maksim Dyldin

400 Metres Men

00:45.4

00:45.6

0.38

Valeriy Borchin

20 Kilometres Race Walk Men

19:30.6

19:44.8

0.30

Denis Alekseyev

400 Metres Men

00:45.8

00:45.8

0.04

 

 

The results (achieved by Yuliya Kondakova, Ekaterina Galitskaia, Svetlana Shkolina, Ivan Ukhov, and Lyukman Adams) for which appeals were pending before the CAS at the moment of publishing this piece were considered as disqualified. 

 

Let the shoes (not doping) make the difference

Whether you’re jumping, throwing or running, your shoes matter and might up the game. Mind the surface, spike size and type, stay clean and choose the right track and field shoes. As expected, Nike track & field shoes are the most popular. But make sure you also check out Adidas, Asics and Saucony

For all those additional workouts outside track, we ranked the best road running shoes and training footwear

Having strong feelings about a certain pair of shoes? Leave a review and help other athletes pick the right shoes. 

 

Use of Content 

  • Feel free to use any text sections, the data, and the graphics for web usage. We just ask that you refer and link back to this original piece. 
  • For print usage, questions or interviews on the topic, reach out to jovana@runrepeat.com.

 

Author
https://cdn.runrepeat.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Jovana.jpg
Jovana Subić

Jovana is into all things outdoor - skyrunning, trail running, rock climbing, hiking, mountain biking, kayaking. She uses every opportunity to trade walls and concrete for forests and trails, which made her a hard-core remote work devotee. Whether it's a vertical kilometer or an ultra, she enjoys the surroundings and fantasizes about donuts. With a background in physics and engineering management, as well as photography and creative writing, she combines both technical and creative aspects to do her best.

jovana@runrepeat.com