July 19, 2016 by AK
The great Russian urine scam of the 2010s, as reported by the press and the anti-doping watchdog WADA:
Before the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia created a storage bank of clean, frozen urine. (BBC)
The report noted evidence that FSB agents created a way to remove the caps from urine sample bottles, previously thought to have been tamper-proof, in order to swap dirty samples for clean ones. Security agents and Russian doping officials passed the bottles to each other through a “mouse hole” in the wall of a Sochi laboratory… (FT)
Russian secret agents — referred to as ‘magicians’ by deputy sports minister Nagornykh — had worked out a way to circumvent the tamper-proof bottles… [One of them] posed as a sewer engineer to access the Sochi laboratory… (DM)
Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, what brought down the sprinkle swappers? Easy: “all the bottles had scratches and marks” on the inside, easily detectable with a common optical microscope. A truly epic embarrassment, in every way and aspect.
Appendix 1. Pocket-picking, they say, requires pianistic digital dexterity and even greater tactile sensitivity – skills that cannot be acquired overnight but take years of apprenticeship to develop. The lower ranks of the underworld once recognized the pickpockets as an aristocracy, but to grandmasters of fraud and laundering they are but agile bottom-feeding fishlets. As for wannabe pickpockets looking to eke out a dirty living without the pain of lengthy training, these are doomed to failure and contempt.
Appendix 2. Nigel Cawthorne’s description of a scene from New Say Never Again, a Bond movie:
…Bond is set upon by a large thug. After an extended fight, Bond throws a beaker of caustic liquid in the man’s face. He reels back, impales himself on broken glassware and falls dead. The label on the beaker reads: ‘James Bond – urine sample.’