Sunday, July 24, 2016

OpEd: Olympics Reduce Russian Ban to Slap on Wrist

Russia's Vladimir Putin will be fielding an Olympic team the country might have been proud of after Stalingrad if size is the issue.
Critics are accusing the International Olympic Committee of virtually endorsed doping, allowing Russia to compete in an announcement days before the games begin in Brazil.
“Olympics officials said on Sunday that they consider all Russian athletes tainted by the country’s state-run doping scheme and that they are not allowed to compete in the coming Rio Games unless they are able to convince individual sports federations that they are innocent.
“The International Olympic Committee said in a statement that “all Russian athletes seeking entry to the Olympic Games Rio 2016 are considered to be affected by a system subverting and manipulating the anti-doping system,” the New York Times reported.
The IOC overruled several international sports bodies. Technically, it says each sporting authority will decide who can compete.
Earlier this week it was disclose that 45 more doping cases had been discovered.
Testers, aided by athletes inside the Russian program, found that the Russian government was  itself involved in falsifying tests, which produced many medals, including golds.
The IOC did say any Russian athlete already banned will not be allowed to compete even if his/her ban has expired.
The BBC said athletes from Russia will have to meet strict criteria laid down by the IOC.
Any Russian athlete who has served a doping ban will not be eligible for next month's Olympics.
Russia had complained that no country should be held responsible for doping, even if it was widespread. And it said some athletes from other countries had been caught. But no country has had anywhere near as many athletes involved in doping that has gone on since the Cold War when winning a medal meant communism triumped over capitalism.
Sixty-eight Russians had appealed banning from the Rio de Janeiro games that begin on Aug. 5.
The U.S. was planning on sending 555 athletes, meaning there will be no big Russian splash as in past years. And every Russian athlete will be face testing like never before. It was not clear whether independent testing will be allowed.
In most recent games Russia has from more than 300 to up to 455 at summer games and 113 to 232 at winter games.
Every day of the game there is likely to be talk of the Russian doping. So it may be a phyric victory for President Putin who appears to be able to get anything he wants, even the endorsement of American Republican Presidental candidate Donald Trump as Russian jets dangerously buzz U.S. warships and planes and ships of other nations.

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