Anyone who thinks that doping in sports is on the wane had better think again.
International wrestling officials announced Thursday that three more athletes -- all of them medal winners -- tested positive at last month's world championships, raising the total for that event to eight.
This news came on the heels of a report that the Astana cycling team, which includes Tour de France winner Vincenzo Nibali, has been put on probation for what cycling offcials called "heavy and repeated doping cases."
At the same time, the World Anti-Doping Agency has decided to launch an investigation into allegations of systematic cheating among Russian athletes, coaches and officials. The issues were brought to light by a series of documentaries on the German television channel ARD.
“The allegations that have been raised in the German television programs require close scrutiny to determine what actions are required to be taken by WADA and others, to confirm the evidence, seek further evidence, and pursue any anti-doping rule violations or breaches of the international standards that have allegedly taken place," said Sir Craig Reedie, agency's president. "WADA must ensure that all athletes who have cheated, either at national or international level, are dealt with in an appropriate fashion under the World Anti-Doping Code."
The president of Russia's athletics federation, Valentin Balakhnichev, has withdrawn from his role as treasurer for the international track federation until the investigation concludes.
As for the wrestlers, the athletes who tested positive included: Albania's Daniel Godelli, who won the men's 77-kilogram category, and two North Koreans, Kim Un Ju and Hwa Ri Jong, who won gold at 75 kilograms and silver at 58 kilograms, respectively.
Their "B" samples have yet to be tested.
Follow David Wharton on Twitter @LATimesWharton