New Cold War at the Olympics

The Western media’s Russia-bashing has become epidemic, creating a dangerous dynamic as the world plunges into a new Cold War, with even sports becoming a propaganda arena, as Rick Sterling explains.

By Rick Sterling

With the Rio Summer Olympics starting on Aug. 5, there is a huge controversy about Russian participation. On the basis of a report by Canadian lawyer Richard Mclaren (the “Mclaren Report”), the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has recommended the banning of all Russian athletes from the Rio Games.

Before his report was even issued, Mclaren influenced the International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF) in their decision to ban all Russian athletes from track and field events, including those who never failed any doping tests, in Russia or elsewhere.

Athletes carrying flags of their nations at closing ceremony of the London Olympics. (Photo credit: London 2012 Olympics)

Athletes carrying flags of their nations at closing ceremony of the London Olympics. (Photo credit: London 2012 Olympics)

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has been under media pressure to ban all Russian athletes from the Rio Olympics. The New York Times has carried many reports and editorials. The Daily Mail in London went so far as to publish a front-page story falsely claiming the “entire Russian team banned from Olympics” — two days before the IOC decision to the contrary.

 

Ultimately the IOC decided against banning all Russian athletes across all Olympic sports. They decided that that each sporting federation should decide the issue on their own. At the same time the IOC imposed special conditions on Russian athletes which prevent them from competing if they have ever tested positive, even if their suspension has already been served, unlike the rules for other Olympic competitors.

In the wake of this decision, there have been aggressive attacks on the IOC and its president for “failing” to impose collective punishment on the entire Russian team.

How Did we Get Here?

The sequence of significant events is as follows:

In February 2014, the Winter Olympics were held in Sochi Russia. The same month, 900 miles to the northwest, a bloody coup unfolded in Kiev Ukraine. This led to Crimea seceding and re-uniting with Russia which led to Western sanctions and rising international tension.

A map showing Crimea (in beige) and its proximity to both the Ukrainian mainland and Russia.

A map showing Crimea (in beige) and its proximity to both the Ukrainian mainland and Russia.

In December 2014 , German TV network “ARD” showed a documentary “How Russia Makes its Winners” by Hajo Seppelt. The documentary includes interviews with Vitaliy and Yuliya Stepanov. In January 2015, the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) established an “Independent Commission” to look into the ARD documentary allegations.

In November 2015, the WADA Independent Commission released a 300+ page report claiming widespread use of performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) in Russian athletics. The report recommended the prohibition of numerous athletes, coaches and trainers plus de-certification of Moscow Laboratory and firing of its director, Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov.

In December 2015, Russian authorities suspended or fired numerous officials and asked to see the evidence which WADA’s accusations and assertions were based on. Dr. Rodchenkov emigrated to the United States.

In early May 2016, the American TV program “60 Minutes” broadcast a story about Russian doping primarily based on testimony from Vitaliy and Yuliya Stepanov, now living in the U.S. The New York Times published articles about Russian doping test manipulations based on Dr. Rodchenkov.

On May 19, 2016, WADA appointed Richard Mclaren to investigate the media allegations. On July 16, 2016, just three weeks before the start of the Rio Olympics, WADA published the Mclaren report.

Problems with the Mclaren Report

The Mclaren Report has strongly influenced media reports, public opinion and official decisions regarding Russian participation in the Olympics. Following are significant problems with the investigation and report:

Russian President Vladimir Putin after the military parade on Red Square, May 9, 2016 Moscow. (Photo from: http://en.kremlin.ru)

Russian President Vladimir Putin after the military parade on Red Square, May 9, 2016 Moscow. (Photo from: http://en.kremlin.ru)

The report relies primarily on the testimony of the chief culprit, Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov. The Independent Commission found Rodchenkov to be “at the heart of the positive drug test cover-up.” While it’s possible that Rodchenkov’s is truthful, it’s also possible he is lying or misleading to redirect responsibility away from himself.

The report asserts that Rodchenkov is credible and truthful with little demonstrated proof. The November 2015 Independent Commission report concluded that Dr. Rodchenkov was not credible. The fact that Rodchenkov was aware of techniques for manipulating test results is not evidence of State control; he was the main culprit.

The former director of Moscow Laboratory has admitted his involvement in urine sample swapping, design of a steroid cocktail not easily traced, and more. He was instrumental in helping some athletes cheat the system. He is the person with most motivation to implicate others, especially higher up. The fact that Rodchenkov was involved in extorting athletes for money suggests opportunism not integrity.

–The investigation did not consider the factual corrections or counter-arguments of Russian authorities. Mclaren says “The IP did not seek to interview persons living in the Russian Federation …. I did not seek to meet with Russian government officials and did not think it necessary.” Since the Russian Ministry of Sport and other agencies are accused of serious violations in this report, this is a strange absence and strong evidence of bias. It is a basic standard of fairness to hear both sides of a controversy before reaching a conclusion.

The investigation excluded a written rebuttal supplied by one of the accused Russian individuals. Mclaren says, “I also received, unsolicited, an extensive narrative with attachments from one important government representative described in this report. In the short span of 57 days that I was given to conduct this IP investigation it was simply not practical and I deemed such interviewing would not be helpful.” (p. 21)

Since one of the main purposes of the investigation was to determine the truthfulness of Rodchenkov’s accusations, this decision to not consider the “unsolicited” information is shocking. It should have been mandatory to evaluate the arguments and information coming from Russian authorities.

As reported by Sports Integrity Initiative, there are numerous inconsistencies in the Mclaren Report (also called the IP report). For example “The IP report appears to contain two different versions – both from Rodchenkov – about how ‘protected’ Russian athlete samples were able to be identified at the laboratory.”

Also, “The IP Report and IO Report contain conflicting accounts of how samples taken at the Sochi 2014 Olympics were consolidated for shipment to the laboratory.” These unexplained contradictions, not noted by Mclaren, reflect adversely on Rodchenkov’s credibility and the investigation.

–Curiously, the primary “whistle-blowers,” Vitaliy and Yuliya Stepanov, are not interviewed for the report. They appear prominently in the ARD videos and the “60 Minutes” report. In those appearances there are more contradictions. In the “60 Minutes” report, Vitaliy is described as a “low level” doping control officer. In the ARD movie (“How Russia Makes its Winners”) Vitaliy is described as an adviser to the Director General who worked personally with Minister of Sports and was a trainer of doping control officers.

In both documentaries Vitaliy comes across very sympathetically and is only concerned with “clean sport.” However at 5:45 of the first Seppelt video we learn that Vitaliy was procuring the drugs and helping his wife Yuliya cheat. In fact, Vitaliy and Yuliya Stepanov only joined the anti-doping crusade after Yuliya was caught doping (by Russian controls).

 

–The investigation was neither thorough nor comprehensive. The Mclaren investigation had a mandate to carry out a “thorough and comprehensive investigation” to corroborate or refute the public allegations of Dr. Rodchenkov.  Prof. Mclaren acknowledges that “The compressed time frame in which to compile this Report has left much of the possible evidence unreviewed. This report has skimmed the surface of the data.”

By relying primarily on testimony and evidence provided by Rodchenkov, and excluding testimony and data from Russian Ministry of Sports officials, it is clear the investigation was neither thorough nor comprehensive.

–Prof. Mclaren was biased. Long before his investigation was complete, Mclaren was using his position to confidentially influence the IAAF to ban the entire Russian track and field team from the Rio Olympics. He also influenced Canadian and American athletes to launch a campaign to ban the entire Russian team.

This action was denounced by the President of the European Olympic Committees who said, “Firstly, the McLaren report is meant to be a totally independent report that must remain totally confidential until its publication on Monday, 18 July 2016 at 09:00 in Canada. It is clear from the e-mail and letter that both the independence and the confidentiality of the report have been compromised.

“My concern is that there seems to have been an attempt to agree an outcome before any evidence has been presented. Such interference and calls ahead of the McLaren Report publication are totally against internationally recognized fair legal process and may have completely undermined the integrity and therefore the credibility of this important report.”

–The Mclaren Report fails to identify specific cheaters and instead casts suspicion on all Russian athletes. The investigation had a specific mandate to “Identify any athlete that might have benefited from those alleged manipulations to conceal positive doping tests.” (p. 3) Instead of doing that, Mclaren vaguely talks about “many” or “dozens” of cheaters.

The Mclaren report says, “The IP investigative team has developed evidence identifying dozens of Russian athletes who appear to have been involved in doping. The compressed time-line of the IP investigation did not permit compilation of data to establish an anti-doping rule violation.” The report effectively smears the reputation of innocent and clean Russian athletes.

–The Mclaren report ignores WADA statistical data regarding test violations. Data from WADA shows that while Russians had the most overall test violations, numerous countries including Belgium, France, and Turkey have higher percentage of test violations given the number of athletes and tests. This is factual not anecdotal information that should have been referenced in an objective report.

Hyping the Case  

The Mclaren report and WADA decisions have been excessively influenced by sensational and exaggerated media reports. Vitaliy and Yuliya Stepanov have been the explosive witnesses whose testimony is portrayed uncritically in the ARD and “60 Minutes” videos.

As mentioned earlier, the Stepanovs were both involved in doping before becoming whistle-blowers. Yuliya Stepanova says “All athletes in Russia are doping. You cannot achieve the results you’re getting, at least in Russia, without doping. You must dope. ”

This is exaggerated and false. It denies the existence of clean Russian athletes, the intense training and honest hard work of many Russian athletes and coaches. It has fallen on people like world record holder Yelena Yisinbaeva to challenge the false assertions and question why she is being punished.

Doping is a longstanding problem in many countries. Some of the most spectacular examples include Ben Johnson (Canada, 1998), Marion Jones (USA, 2000), and Tyson Gaye (USA, 2013). WADA statistics confirm that doping is a global problem. In 2011 a scientific study estimated that 29 – 45 percent of all track and field athletes internationally were doping. Sebastian Coe, current President of IAAF, tried to suppress news of the study.

Yes, doping is a problem in Russia, as in many countries. Russian authorities acknowledge this and have taken significant efforts to clamp down and stop the doping. If there are still some cheaters and violators that does not negate the overall positive trend. There is significant evidence that the assertion that doping in Russia is “state sponsored” is substantially false, no matter how many times it’s repeated.

Following WADA’s Independent Commission report in late 2015, Russian athletes have been tested through international certified laboratories. The frequency of testing has increased in an effort to demonstrate compliance with anti-doping rules and regulations.

If there was still concern that Russian athletes were somehow cheating, the testing regime at the Rio Olympics could be escalated. Instead, WADA and the Mclaren Report recommended banning all Russian athletes from the Olympics.

This looks like a politically motivated action. There is the politics of the IAAF where there have been accusations of leadership corruption. There is the politics of WADA and the concern with their own “image”. And looming overall, there is the politics of international contention and propaganda. Barely a day passes without an “anti Russia” story in the media.

One of the founding goals of the Olympic movement is to promote peaceful society instead of conflict. WADA has an important task that deserves support but not if it becomes a politically biased crusade. As shown above, the Mclaren Report has major deficiencies. The targeting of Russia and indiscriminate punishment of their athletes is a betrayal of the Olympic spirit.

Rick Sterling is a retired aerospace engineer who now writes about international issues. He can be reached at rsterling1@gmail.com

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27 comments for “New Cold War at the Olympics

  1. Zachary Smith
    August 1, 2016 at 9:22 pm

    Before his report was even issued, Mclaren influenced the International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF) in their decision to ban all Russian athletes from track and field events, including those who never failed any doping tests, in Russia or elsewhere.

    This is simply disgusting. It’s unlikely I’ll ever watch another Olympic event.

  2. David Smith
    August 1, 2016 at 11:16 pm

    The petty sneering face of “hybrid war”. Remember the media sneer-fest over Sochi featuring a faked photo of a toilet bisected by a wall? And who could forget Pussy Riot and the guy nailing his scrotum to a Moscow sidewalk…..

    • J'hon Doe II
      August 2, 2016 at 3:30 pm

      Zica virus and/or scare is also hybrid war –
      along/w the now decimation
      of the Hugo Chavez Dreamed Venezuela.

      Oh say can you see?
      by the dawns early light,
      will be sudden abnormalities
      calling for new political structures

  3. Joe Tedesky
    August 1, 2016 at 11:21 pm

    One has to wonder to where all of this Russia bashing is taking us Americans. Between the NED’s Ukraine Nazi illegal coup during the Sochi Olympics, to whatever all that nonsense was all about regarding the CIA’s Pussy Riot, then the accusations by the U.S. of Russian homophobia, to Putin’s supposedly poisoning of people, and the unforgivable blaming Russia for the downing of Flight MH17, and the irresponsible propaganda beat goes on, and on. To the degree that all of this has been taken is just another example of how reckless our American media is willing to go to please there State Department masters.

    Jimmy Carter boycotted the 1980 Moscow Summer Olympics over the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and likewise Russia boycotted the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Olympics in retaliation to Carter’s decision. In the end neither side made much of any difference with their boycotts. The only ones who suffered were the well trained athletes of both sides who had to sit out their respective games.

    The 1936 Berlin Olympics will always be remembered for Hitler’s prejudices against the banning of German Jews from the games, and his dislike of the Black American Jesse Owens was only made worst by the outstanding performance this legendary star treated the sport fans too. Even though the Germans Olympic game preparations were all the rave, this was the beginning of the exposure of what Hitler’s regime was all about.

    What is even more disturbing is how the American society is being led down a crooked path of lies. When it comes to sports the politicians should stay out of the games. When it comes to respecting another country’s sovereignty the U.S. loses all sight of this right, and then some. America’s ruling class is taking their exceptionalism to a level which has no chance of it landing well with inside the margins of peace. The one thing America is doing this time, is we are picking on someone else our own size, and that just maybe the final problem with these Neocon inspired schemes.

    • dahoit
      August 2, 2016 at 8:51 am

      It’s taking US to Trump.

    • Tom Welsh
      August 2, 2016 at 11:22 am

      Even in 1936, Owens and the other black US athletes were treated much, much better in Germany than back home in their own country. While Hitler objected in principle to their participation in the Olympic Games, it was mainly because he felt they were not “proper Americans” as their recent ancestors had come from Africa. (Remember, not only the Nazis but many other Germans – and indeed Westerners of all nations – believed in those days that there were different, clearly discernible “races”, each of which should have its own nation). Today the trend has run its course, and people of West African descent almost monopolize the explosive track and field events, while people of North, South and Eastern African descent monopolize the long distance running events.

      Owens and other black athletes spoke loudly and clearly about how welcome they were made to feel in Germany; and most Germans sincerely admired their athletic prowess. When they returned home, they went back to an apartheid society – and even during WW2, nearly a decade later, British civilians and soldiers were horrified to see how white American soldiers treated their own black colleagues.

      • Joe Tedesky
        August 2, 2016 at 7:37 pm

        Tom thanks for bringing this up. I should have mentioned about how the German people were fascinated with the Black American athletes. Nothing is ever really that simple. The American team at the last minute replaced Marty Glickman and Sam Stoller who were Jewish from running in the 400 -meter relay race at the last minute to be replaced by Jesse Owens and Ralph Metcalfe. Many though that this was due to Glickman and Stoller being Jewish.

        http://www.historyplace.com/worldwar2/triumph/tr-olympics.htm

        The reason I included the 1936 Olympics story, was to speak to the other controversies which have clouded the Olympic Games through out the many years that the Olympics have been held. I’m not sure I do well as a journalist, but there are enough of you here who I may rely on to keep my story telling straight.

  4. August 1, 2016 at 11:30 pm

    nato may use Rio as a distraction to facilitate another surprise attack?
    during the 2008 Beijing Olympics, washington used it’s puppet Georgia to attack South Ossetia, and shell Russian peacekeepers. the Russian Federation responded accordingly, but was cast as an aggressor by western news outlets.
    2010 games in Canada, Kyrgyzstan government is overthrown by so called ‘flower revolution’ supported by washington.
    2014 Winter Olympics, democratically elected Ukraine government is overthrown by washington backed militants, and the Russian Federation was cast as aggressors before anybody tuned away from the Olympics.
    2016 Rio Olympics … ?
    keep your eyes open

    • SFOMARCO
      August 2, 2016 at 2:54 am

      “2016 Rio Olympics …keep your eyes open” as Brazil’s polarized population fills the streets.

      • dahoit
        August 2, 2016 at 8:52 am

        Don’t open them underwater!

  5. Thomas mudau
    August 2, 2016 at 12:11 am

    Americans,i thint the best way is to invade russia,u dont seem to ever stop this anti russia chorus

    • Realist
      August 2, 2016 at 4:44 am

      Best way where? The road to hell?

  6. MD
    August 2, 2016 at 8:29 am

    Really, I’m ready to pull my hair out! I am so sick of this knee-jerk “new cold war” bull shit. THERE IS NO SUCH THING!!! The analogy simply does not apply to the circumstances today. First of all there is nothing “cold” about the THAAD missile batteries in Eastern Europe, nothing “cold” about the buildup of nuclear arms on Eastern Europe.

    Using the analogy only serves to promote ignorance of current events.

    No one is “going back” to anything, the policy of the US is clear: “Global full spectrum domination.”

    • Chris Chuba
      August 2, 2016 at 10:12 am

      Actually, Cold War is the perfect description. A Hot War (and I don’t rule out the possibility of us blundering into one) is when U.S. forces directly engage Russian forces. A Cold War is when we use proxy forces to undermine or fight the other and this is exactly what is happening.

      The idiots in U.S. think tanks believe that we can launch a Cold War on Russia and bankrupt them and avoid a hot war. They don’t have a clue about the negative consequences of their actions. They desperately want Ukraine to fight a proxy war with Russia on our behalf and the Syrian conflict to go poorly for the Russians as a top priority (Jihadists a distant second). We have infiltrated and either succeeded or attempted to make every Russian Republic an enemy of Russia, we trained Georgia’s military who then attacked Ossetia and then blamed the Russians for it (this was unconscionable but they have no conscience).

      While accusing Putin and Russia of hybrid warfare, we have been using the media to portray Putin as corrupt at every corner in order to undermine his Presidency and tarnish Russia’s image to undermine their influence. As Condoleezza Rice said, ‘Russia’s interests end at their borders’, what arrogance. I don’t even think our meddling stops at Russia’s borders with our NGO’s.

  7. Drew Hunkins
    August 2, 2016 at 10:24 am

    PEDs are a serious problem in virtually ALL sports, especially professional sports in the United States. It’s a bit much to hear so many Americans bemoaning the Russian PED users when the most popular sport in America — NFL football — is rife with PED users. Just believe your eyes, when you see 100s of NFL players with biceps that are 19 inches or more, and shoulders and legs like tree trunks it’s NOT natural.

    The PED phenomena is being used a cudgel to vilify Russia. The sports world is up to its ears in the stuff, yet it seems at times that only Russia’s Olympic athletes are being called out on it.

    • Skip Edwards
      August 2, 2016 at 2:00 pm

      Oh how quickly the US MSM buries the Lance Armstrong American international bike racer scandal and his use of PEDS! The US news media is exactly like the old Russian news media Pravda which Americans were taught to believe was a propaganda organ of the then USSR communist party. So what has our MSM/NPR become? A propaganda arm of the neocon/neoliberal inbred American bulls*!t party known as Dem/Rep parties. Our governmernt has become what we were taught to hate. Most people in the US are too young to remember, unfortunately.

      • Drew Hunkins
        August 2, 2016 at 3:26 pm

        Excellent point on Armstrong!

        I always thought he was a fraud, but I’d often get the stink eye from Armstrong lovers if I pointed out my critical opinion of him while he was winning all his Tour de Frances. When vindication finally came it was sweet indeed.

        Oh, and never forget, the athletes and the athletes’ handlers are generally ahead of the testers. In other words, the athletes generally know how to beat the tests. The testing authorities are usually playing catch up.

  8. exiled off mainstreet
    August 2, 2016 at 10:39 am

    I wonder if the Rio olympics were why the yankee regime sponsored the Temer coup against Rousseff in Brazil? Her government might have found some effective way to resist. The whole thing reveals the pathetic fascist political nature of the olympics to all, and, like the Snowden affair, reveals the odium and dominance of the yankee imperium over and the bankruptcy of “western” culture in 2016.

  9. J'hon Doe II
    August 2, 2016 at 3:55 pm

    “Tear down this wall ”
    now pertains to our

    nightly and daily
    Forced Feedings of

    specific propaganda/
    engineered reports

  10. Curious
    August 2, 2016 at 4:37 pm

    Rick Sterling, thank you for the background information on the report and I hope your article gets wide circulation as the US has become unbearable to a lot of people around the world.

    As some still wonder if Bob Costas’ pink eye was from a faulty Botox injection, the US remains hypocritical as usual. Our current president in the White House also didn’t go to Sochi, since he was too busy bird-dogging Ms Nuland and her coup in Ukraine. And, of course, our Senator McCain couldn’t stay out of a good coup as well.

    Mr Tater above makes a remarkable point…. coincidences of such magnitude don’t happen accidentally.

    I just have to note, from first hand experience, that WADA is very particular about their screening process. Having worked the Olympics, dating back as far as South Korea, I have witnessed the stringent testing. An athlete at the Olympics in Korea was tossed out for a banned substance as it was thought he had taken some opium product to enhance his performance. It was learned later he had consumed a poppyseed muffin, and the poppy seeds produced this result and he was kicked out needlessly.

    Prof. Mclaren should be put in front of the cameras and grilled so all the world can see his misrepresentation of the facts. It is indeed an awful thing to do to a nation of athletes. So, the basis of the argument against Russian sports are from two formerly disgraced persons, and a Dr who immigrated to the US. That’s it? That’s all he has? The US certainly doesn’t want to lose, even if they are cheating their way to Rio themselves.

    It’s not unlike the US to change the rules either. The Olympics were supposedly a test of a lot of amateur athletes way back whenever. But after the US lost in basketball, suddenly the US put together the “dream team” of NBA millionaires to get back the gold, and somehow this doesn’t bother the “we are #1” sports crazies. The ‘win at all cost’ is so ingrained in the US culture the US media doesn’t seem to question the abuse and the rule changes.

    If Prof Mclaren had witnessed how hard athletes train in Russia he may be ashamed to vilify a nation in such a way. Many of them have far fewer distractions than here in the US for one example. But let me stress another point on this site. The Olympics are often a once in a lifetime chance in an athletes life, and sometimes they have trained for 10-15 years for a one day, or three day chance at success in their sport. Some have gone the wrong way in their training, but not all have done that. To see an athletic performance of such magnitude should be embraced, and not sullied so easily by politics. This is a pathetic display of bad media, bad politics, and bad manners.

  11. jaycee
    August 2, 2016 at 4:47 pm

    Just like reports from Ukraine, the mainstream media from the Anglo countries (i.e. USA, Canada, UK) have handled this particular story in a uniform fashion – exact same talking points, exact same demands, and exact same selected outrage over the IOC’s response. These media outlets also all received a leaked version of the McLaren report several days before its release, so they could all run sensationalist headlines condemning Russia’s athletes and get a head start in shaping the story and influencing the public. Do these people meet up in a bar somewhere once a week to discuss strategy, or what exactly is the process involved to ensure this unanimity?

    The fact that the report was largely sourced through a single compromised individual and that a true investigation was not actually engaged due to “time pressures” (i.e. it needed to be ready ahead of the Olympics so to exclude the Russians), is never shared with the MSM’s poorly informed readership. Character assassination, whether of individuals or nationalities, is another weapon in the West’s quiver, and the pathetic MSM is always ready to do its part.

    • Kiza
      August 2, 2016 at 10:32 pm

      Just please add Australia to your list of countries with uniform coverage – exactly the same talking points, exactly the same demands, and exactly the same selected outrage over the IOC’s response.

  12. Kiza
    August 2, 2016 at 10:31 pm

    In the Orwellian New English several words get opposite meaning to the original, non more than “independent”. If I see this word in the MSM I know for sure that it is a cook up, no need to read or follow the topic further. Thus, “independent report” = “cooked up (propaganda) report”. They would not need to use the word if the report was really independent, it is self-understood.

    Yet, the most surprising to me were the regime lies about Sharapova. Apparently, this tennis player tested positive on a substance which was not illegal at the time when her test sample was collected, but on the basis of it being retroactively banned and present in her urine in the past, she was banned from tennis for two years and her career ended. Then this fact was covered over by the dollops of interviews with tennis players and one of the most outspoken Russia haters in sport, a third-rate former Anglo-Australian tennis player Pat Cash. Total relentless brainwashing.

    Did anyone really expect that the West understands the word fair-play? Perhaps, the current behavior of the Western alliance is defined as fair-play in the Orwellian New English Dictionary.

    The only good outcome is that the utterly corrupt IOC is on the way out, followed by most international sports competitions. The World will divide into two political blocks and each will conduct its own sports games. Not bad.

    • Gary Hare
      August 3, 2016 at 6:38 am

      It is a shame when people spoil their argument by exaggeration and an attempt at belittling a person with a different opinion. Pat Cash was not a “third-rate…tennis player”. He won Wimbledon! He might not be well-informed. He might not be too bright. He probably has been “brainwashed”. But calling him a “third-rate…tennis player” does nothing to support your argument. In fact it reminds me of the mindless putting-down of all things Russian, and Putin in particular, without facts or proper analysis, that fills the pages and screens of Western media these days. Journalists of MSM should be made to thoroughly absorb Sterlings’s article, and forced to then justify their anti-Russian Olympic propaganda with an objective assessment of the facts.

  13. chupacabra
    August 3, 2016 at 1:39 pm

    Banning “clean” athletes with years if not decades of untainted reputation who never failed a test anywhere is fundamentally unjust. Elena Isinbaeva, one among many, – her medal will be taken away from her not by fellow athlete but by bureaucrats.

    At the same time, if we look at UK – Liz Armitstead who missed 3 doping test this year (which is highly anomalous and 90% confirms that she is on a PED regiment) – is cleared to participate in Rio Olympics.

    Orwell was a realist, not a fiction writer.

  14. NoHayMal QueDura CienAños
    August 3, 2016 at 10:30 pm

    Eliminating Russia to win more medals makes winning the medals meaningless

  15. Andrew Nichols
    August 5, 2016 at 4:33 am

    Interesting but overlooked in commentary today that fully 2/3 of the Russian athletes at the games have been passed as fit to start by their respective international bodies. Rather socks the narrative of massive state sponsored doping…. Wont get mentioned of course and now we’ll see lots of meanspirited booing at the games any time a Russian medals.

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