Figures from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) have revealed that over 3,000 banned substances were detected in the 283,304 tests carried out in 2014, down by 10 per cent year-on-year.
The statistics showed that a total of 3,153 adverse analytical findings (AAFs) had been found in the worldwide tests conducted across Olympic and non-Olympic sports.
That figure represents a 10.7 per cent fall from 2013, with equestrian (1.8%), golf (1.6%) and weightlifting (1.9%) presenting the highest rate of adverse findings among Olympic sports.
Football performed the most tests with 31,242 but presented only 144 adverse findings, while only 261 AAFs were detected from the 25,830 tests carried out in athletics.
The findings are in stark contrast to those from 2013, when abnormal results rose by 20 per cent from the previous year.
WADA announced in August that it had launched an investigation after German broadcaster ARD and The Sunday Times newspaper obtained a leaked International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) database that contained over 12,000 blood tests taken from approximately 5000 athletes between 2001 and 2012.
The Sunday Times claimed that the database revealed an “extraordinary extent of cheating” by “elite athletes”, and that large-scale doping existed in athletics.