April 27 (Reuters) - Russia was the leading doping offender in global sport during 2014, followed by Italy and India, the World Anti-Doping Agency said on Wednesday.
Russia, whose participation in the Rio Olympics’ athletics programme is in doubt due to a doping scandal, accounted for 148 of the 1,693 failed tests recorded, according to WADA’s 2014 Anti-Doping Rule Violations Report.
Italy (123), India (96), Belgium (91), France (91), Turkey (73), Australia (49), China (49), Brazil (46) and South Korea (43) rounded out the top 10 spots on the list that illustrates doping offenses committed in global sport.
The total number of failed tests globally fell 13 percent from the 1,953 recorded in the previous year.
Athletics and bodybuilding had the most violations with 248 and 225, respectively, followed by cycling, weightlifting, powerlifting, football, wrestling, boxing, rugby union and aquatics.
The WADA report marks the final year of statistics under the 2009 World Anti-Doping Code. The 2015 report, which will be issued in 2017, will reflect results of current anti-doping efforts under the 2015 Code.
Russia, second behind the United States in the athletics medal table at the 2012 Olympics, is banned from all athletics after an independent WADA commission revealed widespread state-sponsored doping.
The country now has to convince the IAAF that it has made enough progress in reforming its anti-doping operation to be re-instated to the sport in time for the Aug. 5-21 Rio Olympics. (Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto. Editing by Steve Keating.)