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Russia’s overdue Olympic ban is no cure for anti-doping impotence

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mullah_assassin

Oh look, the Western world is now politicising sport! Things must be getting pretty desperate.

Game theory predicts that its not only Russia who dopes. The US does it, China does it, Australia does it, Germany does it, just take a look at all those abnormal bodies. Here we have another Western dominated institution that is being used to promote a political agenda against Russia.

But of course Western athletes are allowed to get away with it.

Madbull99 in reply to mullah_assassin

you got caught dude both sports wise and US election wise hard bodies come via hard work not sitting behind some computer screen destroying as opposed to creating. Evidently you cant create intellectually or physically, its no secret hard bodies come from hard work and discipline. Watch these Russian trolls/bots come out in full force

Sydney57 in reply to Zoltán Koskovics

Zoltan, it is unfair for Snowden to equate him with Rodchenkov. We don't know much about Rodchenkov and what motivated him. Snowden reminds Soviet dissidents. He genuinely believed in declared American values and genuinely tried to save what they call "American democracy". I don't think he is a traitor.

True, both are not likely to reach old age.

guest-ilwjmia

Oh dear the Economist has a deputy sports editor - perhaps the senior sports editor knows something about it.
Of the first 96 charges of drug taking against Russian Olympic athletes, 95 have been dropped on lack of evidence. The 96th case has been delayed.
All the evidence amounts to 1 rogue Russian earning a lot of money with bullshit. Everyone in sports knows this - which is why a Russia athlete, banned from the 2016 games while never having failed a test in her life, was voted by the other Olympic athletes onto the Athletes Olympic committee.

This is Litvinenko farce all again - Rodchenko and Economist journalists are making a fortune out of - and we are the patsies.

guest-ajowjenl

It's obvious that the Russian's cheated at state level and have been doing so for the last 50 years or so. It's also obvious that the Russian government is lying and attempting to divert attention from their crimes. However, at the same time individual athletes from many other nations (US, UK, Oz, Windies (yes, including Usain Bolt) Europe etc etc) have also been cheating and will continue to do so. The problem is that testing always lags behind doping and will NEVER be able to fully eliminate it. Once you accept that some doping in sport is inevitable, the hysteria around it begins to calm. It is entirely right to vilify the Russian government for their state sponsored scheme as it's interfering in a most damaging way and cheating on the worst level. It's also right to ban Russian athletes who have been proven to be doping. However bans need to be moderate as testing simply cannot deliver an environment where athletes can be confident that their competitors are most likely clean, let alone guarantee they're clean. And yes some, likely many, doped Russian athletes will end up competing in the winter games and beyond, but they won't be the only ones.

Zoltán Koskovics

Let me start by saying that the inevitable torrent of schadenfreude is completely understandable. I don't blame anybody who will erupt in jubilation over this matter. It doesn't make you a bad person if you feel that way.
However you are likely to be a person who believes that the Russians put Trump in the White House. If so, you must assume that wasn't out of the blue but a form of retaliation for real or perceived grievances. This will be felt by the Russians as an affront. You should expect retaliation.
____
Now to the real world. The Russians do take this as an absolute insult (whether this is that or a justifiable reaction to doping in sport is immaterial, because their feelings, right or wrong are deeply felt). They blame the US, Canada and Britain. In that order.
That this is a political matter is self evident. That there will be consequences is equally self evident. However it is highly debatable what sort of consequences there will be.
It is self evident that Mr Rodchenkov will suffer personal consequences. It remains to be seen if non-Russians, say, Mr McLaren will. I suspect we are at the point where due to instability in Europe and the USA both, Russia will feel free to exact such a price.
As for the Winter Olympics themselves, although how well Putin can play Kim is somewhat questionable, a quick assessment of the situation will tell you that an North Korean atmospheric nuclear test is forthcoming and that such a test for obvious reasons is best timed for the duration of the winter Olympics. If there are technical difficulties to such a timeframe - Russia is now thoroughly incentivized to help overcome them. So expect that.
Now, I have little doubt that both the IOC and WADA are corrupt organizations. Such usually are. Even the dumbest bureaucrat should by now be aware that digital footprints of their corruption should be eliminated. Nevertheless I would not be overly surprised if it turned out that Russian hackers could gain access to such. After all, the Russians know they are corrupt. They had bought them before. So expect that to come out.
As for Britain and the US - their political stability is already shaky - expect tiny shoves from the Russians. They will easily poke in ways you wouldn't expect. A sexual harassment allegation against Mr Mueller one day and a compromising tape of Mr Trump the other, just as examples - but there is an abundance of other avenues.
Canada is probably beyond such measures, but the Russians will find something.

Barracuda008

Another disgusting example of the anti-Russian lobby applying different criteria for the seam crime. Many other countries have/had institutional doping like Cuba, Venezuela, East Germany. etc and no action has been taken.
Yet this idea that the games should promote a kinder, gentler world, the apotheosis of human progress, reflects sentimentalized history. Since the end of the Cold War, the Olympics have thrown off the corrosive chains of ideology to revert to the values of the original games, among which were the dominance of sports for their own sake rather than as a metaphor for national advancement.
The standard view of the Greek Olympics as a halcyon festival bringing amateur sportsmen together in the name of peace and brotherhood is a remnant of nineteenth-century Romanticism institutionalized by aristocrats like modern Olympics founder Pierre de Coubertin. The ancient reality could not have been further from these modern misconceptions, as Greek armies routinely violated the Olympic truce—sometimes battling in the Olympic sanctuary itself—and competitors ingested whatever performance-enhancing substances were available. Individual achievement was valued much more than participation, and wealth superseded philosophical ideals.

Mr Rodchenkov is unlikely to get a good deal on his next life insurance policy. He is a traitor. If he lied he is also a lowlife.
To be fair Mr Snowden isn't likely to reach old age either.
If I knew either to be people of conscience I'd pitty them. But I don't. And I don't like traitors.

It's obvious that the Russian's cheated at state level and have been doing so for the last 50 years or so. It's also obvious that the Russian government is lying and attempting to divert attention from their crimes. However, at the same time individual athletes from many other nations (US, UK, Oz, Windies (yes, including Usain Bolt) Europe etc etc) have also been cheating and will continue to do so. The problem is that testing always lags behind doping and will NEVER be able to fully eliminate it. Once you accept that some doping in sport is inevitable, the hysteria around it begins to calm. It is entirely right to vilify the Russian government for their state sponsored scheme as it's interfering in a most damaging way and cheating on the worst level. It's also right to ban Russian athletes who have been proven to be doping. However bans need to be moderate as testing simply cannot deliver an environment where athletes can be confident that their competitors are most likely clean, let alone guarantee they're clean. And yes some, likely many, doped Russian athletes will end up competing in the winter games and beyond, but they won't be the only ones.

Madbull99

Hilarious they cheat and they still get their asssesss kicked, what are the Russians good at? Can anybody say Lada? Great hockey teams too, hearing if Putin the ankle bender played in the NHL he would have destroyed Gretzky's records, and how can anybody now doubt that the Russians tried to manipulate American elections. Russia evidently you are not competent enough to cheat you consistently get caught which makes you two time losers- its like you lost the same game twice. Fire up the Lada factory.

Palinka

If anybody buys into the tale, that Russia alone had a state-sponsored doping program, then he also has to believe, that the Earth is flat.
Ever since the Olympics were corrupted by money, the drive to achieve top level results has been helped in a number of ways of which the use of drugs is just one of the state’s support vehicles.
Besides, not all drugs are performance enhancers, many are illness symptom reducers. Others have been declared performance enhancers after the fact ( like in Sharapova’s case). And the Williams sisters were exempted, even though they failed the drug test.
I accept, that Russia might be guilty, but not only Russia. The same vigor isn’t shown in investigating others, why?

Didomyk

"World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) should ditch its current maximum sentence of four years and introduce lifelong bans. "

Right on. Ban the next three generations of Russians ! Till the year 2199 !.

Wow, that would be an over reaction by the Russians. This is sport and by implying that if your team isn't allowed to compete your best recourse is to meddle in international nuclear proliferation is infantile. The best course of action is to smarten up your athletic system, toughen it against cheaters and quit encouraging doping. This action will make Russia a shining example to the sports world - supporting North Korea will increase global instability and for what, hurt feelings? At worst an action like this might push crazy unstable Trump to try his surprise “decapitation of the leaders” strike which his most hawkish advisors are urging him to do. "Why did we increase global instabiltiy? We did it for our athletes of course!"