At the Winter Olympics in Sochi in early 2014, no Russian athletes tested positive for doping, and to much celebration they took home 33 medals, more than any other nation. But behind the scenes, a system was in place that concealed the use of performance-enhancing drugs by the Russian athletes. Moreover, doping and cover-ups have been carried out by Russia across a range of international competitions from late 2011 to 2015, according to the report made public Monday by the World Anti-Doping Agency and led by Canadian law professor Richard McLaren. The International Olympic Committee said Tuesday it is studying the legal options for collectively banning Russia from the 2016 Rio Games and taking other measures. In fact, the cheating exposed by McLaren more than justifies barring Russia from the Games.

The probe by McLaren established Russian doping and coverups before and after Sochi and “beyond a reasonable doubt.” McLaren concluded it was the Russian government that oversaw and directed the “entirety” of the falsification of test results.

Throwing Russia out of the Olympics may sound harsh, but so is the fact that Russia’s government has been cheating with drugs for years and covering it up. At one point in late 2014, some 8,000 urine samples were destroyed to prevent detection of forbidden drugs. President Vladimir Putin, who promoted Sochi as a symbol of Russia’s revival, was in fact boss of a rule-breaking machine. Putin, the onetime KGB officer and later FSB director, shows little respect for a rules-based international order; the drugged athletes and falsified test results are just the latest examples of his subterfuge and corrosive behavior. The world’s response ought to be unwavering: This is not acceptable.