Russia heads 2015 doping offences

The explosive 2016 McLaren report commissioned by WADA alleged state-sponsored doping in Russia and saw the country shut out of the agency

Russian athletes topped the rankings of drug cases in 2015, the World Anti-Doping Agency revealed Monday in its annual report.

Numbers from WADA for 2015, the most recent full year available, found that 176 Russian athletes were guilty of anti-doping rule violations, more than any other nation.

Italy was next on the list with 129 cases while India was third with 117.

France posted 84 drug cases while Belgium had 67. The United States had 50 drug cases in 2015, placing it ninth on the list.

Bodybuilding had the most drug cases in 2015, with 270, followed by athletics with 242 incidents.

The perennially drug-plagued sport of weightlifting accounted for 239 cases while cycling was fourth with 200.

Powerlifting recorded 110 cases while football was sixth on the list with 108, ahead of rugby union (80).

In total WADA dealt with 1,929 rule violations in 2015 involving 122 nationalities from 85 sports.

Some 1,649 of the cases arose from adverse analytical findings (AAFs) or positive test results.

The remainder -- some 280 cases -- derived from "evidence-based" intelligence, which WADA attributed to increased embrace of investigations and whistleblowing.

"Whilst testing remains vital to detecting doping, recent events have shown that investigative work is becoming ever more important as we look to protect clean athletes’ rights worldwide," WADA President Craig Reedie said in a statement.