The United States Department of Justice has opened an investigation into state-sponsored doping by dozens of Russia’s top athletes, according to two people familiar with the case. The inquiry escalates what has been a roiling sports controversy into a federal criminal case involving foreign officials.
The United States attorney’s office for the Eastern District of New York is scrutinizing Russian government officials, athletes, coaches, antidoping authorities and anyone who might have benefited unfairly from a doping regime, according to the people, who did not have authorization to speak about the inquiry publicly. Prosecutors are believed to be pursuing conspiracy and fraud charges.
Federal courts have allowed prosecutors to bring cases against foreigners living abroad if there is some connection to the United States. That connection can be limited, such as the use of an American bank.