By Nate Raymond
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. Justice Department has opened an investigation into state-sponsored doping by Russian athletes, a person familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.
The probe is being overseen by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Brooklyn and is examining Russian officials, athletes, coaches and anyone who benefited from the doping, the person said.
A spokeswoman for Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Robert Capers said the office cannot confirm or deny the existence of an investigation.
Prosecutors are believed to be pursuing conspiracy and fraud charges, according to the New York Times, which first reported the probe.
U.S. prosecutors have been permitted by courts to bring cases against foreigners living abroad if they can show a connection to the United States, such as the use of a U.S. bank.
A World Anti-Doping Agency report in November alleging widespread state-sponsored doping in Russia led to a ban on the country competing in international athletics competitions.
(Reporting by Nate Raymond; Writing by Eric Beech; Editing by Eric Walsh and Cynthia Osterman)