Who Benefits from Russia’s ‘Peculiar’ Doping Violations?

The Winter Olympics concluded with two Russian athletes testing positive for banned substances. But the doping would have made little sense in terms of gaining a competitive edge, leading Rick Sterling to wonder who benefits?

By Rick Sterling

Viewers of the 2018 Winter Olympics were offered a constant reminder of Russia’s supposed deviousness with the “OAR” – or Olympic Athlete from Russia – designation that Russian athletes competed under as a punishment for doping. The image of Russia being penalized for cheating fit in neatly with ongoing geopolitical narratives of Russia being blamed for election meddling in the United States and military aggression in Ukraine.

Nadezhda Morozova sports a Team OAR jersey during a women’s hockey game. (Getty)

President Vladimir Putin had claimed earlier that the U.S. invented the doping allegations in an attempt to influence Russia’s March 18 presidential election, a position reiterated by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov who claimed that the U.S. had used its influence within the International Olympic Committee to “orchestrate the doping scandal.”

But despite these Russian claims, the image of Russia as a cheater were re-confirmed at the close of the Olympic Games when two additional Russians were caught using banned substances.    

Yet, there is something very fishy about the Anti Doping Rule Violations (ADRVs) pinned on the Russian curler and Russian bobsledder during the final week of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.

It defies logic that an athlete would do a one-time consumption of a chemical that is of no value in circumstances where it is almost certain to be detected with huge negative consequences.

That is precisely the situation. The Russian Mixed Curling bronze medal winner, Alexander Krushelnitsky, had to forfeit his medal, plus that of his partner wife, because traces of meldonium were found in his urine sample. He had previously tested clean. Meldonium is a medication which helps keep the heart healthy by increasing blood flow.

That would be of no benefit in a sport like curling which requires accuracy, strategy and focus but is not taxing physically. The “sweeping” to help guide the rock down the ice lasts only 20 seconds or less. International curlers were astounded at the news and bemused at the idea of performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) for curling. The skip of the Danish curling team said “I think most people will laugh and ask, ‘what could you possibly need doping for?”

Krushelnitsky strongly denies taking banned drugs. “I am categorically opposed to doping. … never, at any time that I have been involved in sport, have I ever used prohibited substances.”

Similar curious circumstances apply in the second ADRV. Russian bobsledder Nadezhda Sergeeva had numerous negative (clean) tests before she was tested positive for banned trimetazidine. Bobsledding is another sport which requires physical and mental skill but not physical endurance.

In the February 25 IOC meeting to close the Pyeongchang Winter Games, the head of the IOC Implementation Group, Nicole Hoevertz, said the Russian athletes had been tested “more than any other athletes.” She and her group were convinced that the 168-member Russian athletic team was clean. At about 82:00 in the video, she says the two Russian doping violations were “so peculiar.”

She introduced the Director of the IOC Medical and Scientific Commission, Dr. Bludgett, to provide more detail. He suggested that meldonium would not be of benefit in curling. He then went further and suggested the ADRV regarding trimetazidine may be in error. He said trimetazidine “is a substance where there is a parent compound which is a common headache migraine treatment available particularly in China and Japan and if that is found then it is not considered an ADRV. And if there is a very low level, as there was in this case, that is a possibility.”

Sergeeva denies ever taking banned drugs and even went on social media with a T-shirt declaring her commitment to clean sport.

In summary, it seems highly unlikely that two different Russian athletes would intentionally take medications that have no benefit but which are almost guaranteed to be detected resulting in huge harm to them and their team.

Who Benefits?

Another possibility is that meldonium or trimetazidine powder was surreptitiously put in the food of the athletes. This one-time consumption would cause a positive test.

In fact there are forces on the international scene who are pleased that Russia has been battling defamation and charges of “state sponsored doping” for the past two years. They want the current denigration and punishments of Russia to continue, perhaps influencing Russia’s upcoming national election and undermining Russia’s hosting of the World Cup this summer.

One such group is the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The CIA has a long history of large and small criminal deeds. Presumably it would not be difficult for them to infiltrate Olympic facilities or bribe a corrupt individual to put traces of meldonium or another powder in someone’s food or drink.

Those who quickly dismiss this possibility probably also thought that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction in 2002. That was a false claim supported by evidence fabricated by the CIA.

It is well documented the CIA carries out murders, coups and major sabotage. The CIA has documented some of their methods in “The Official CIA Manual of Trickery and Deception”. They don’t just carry out assassinations and coups. In the book “In Search of Enemies”, former CIA officer John Stockwell documented how the CIA created a false story about Cuban soldiers raping Angolan women to defame Cuba.

Corrupt police forces sometimes plant evidence on a suspect they wish to convict. It would be essentially the same thing to get a Russian athlete to ingest spiked food or beverage. The CIA has motive and expressed intent:

In contrast with Russian leaders who call the US a “partner”, US officials increasingly call Russia an “adversary”. The latest US National Security Strategy explicitly says they intend to respond to Russia as an adversary: “ The United States will respond to the growing political, economic and military competitions we face around the world. China and Russia challenge American power, influence, and interests, attempting to erode American security and prosperity.”

Despite the lack of clear evidence, there is widespread belief that Russia “meddled” in the US election. The anti-Russia sentiment has been fanned into the exaggerated claim that the unproven Russian action was “an act of war, an act of hybrid warfare”.

Neoconservatives forces openly talk about “punishing” Russia. The former Deputy Director of the CIA, Michael Morrell, said, “We need to make the Russians pay a price.” He confirmed on public television that means killing Russians (and Iranians) in Syria. This is the 33-year veteran CIA leader who publicly campaigned for Hillary Clinton.

Did the CIA plant the doping evidence? We don’t know for certain but it should not be dismissed out of hand. The CIA has the means, opportunity and above all the motive to falsely implicate Russians in new doping cases with the goal of preventing Russia from getting beyond the international sporting sanctions and punishments.  They have done vastly more deceitful, manipulative, and outrageous things than this.

Media Bias

Unfortunately, Western media will not investigate this possibility. Western media cannot even accurately report on events like the IOC meeting yesterday. The fact that the head of the IOC Implementation Group warmly praised the Russian participation at the Pyeongchang Olympics is not mentioned in Western media.

The fact that Dr. Bludgett raised questions about the accuracy of the ADRVs against Russia is not mentioned in reports from New York Times, the Guardian or Inside the Games. Instead, the writer at Inside the Games once again exaggerated the voice of critics of Russia as he downplayed the voices of international athletes who want to put the doping scandal behind and move forward.

Western media have reported deceptively that the Russian athletes have “admitted” to the violations. In fact, both Russian athletes strongly deny taking banned drugs.

Western media bias is also shown in the focus on alleged Russian doping and minimization or ignoring of other possible violations. For example the story about the Norwegian cross-country ski team and their use of banned asthmatic medications. They get around the restrictions by having their doctor claim that most of their athletes are asthmatic. This situation is a result of the inconsistent rules and regulations. A Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) can be given to any athlete designated by a doctor and in secrecy. They are not required to publicly disclose this, giving incentive to corruption and misuse.

Richard McLaren’s Bias

The World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) has also been biased. More than a year ago, their investigator Richard McLaren claimed “over one thousand Russian athletes benefited” from the alleged Russian conspiracy to cheat the ant-doping system. McLaren said the proof would be provided to the various sport federations. In September 2017 it was revealed that charges had been filed against 96 athletes.

Of these, WADA cleared 95 athletes of wrongdoing; only one athlete was proven to be in violation. More recently, the Court of Arbitration in Sport completely overturned the bans on 28 Russian athletes. In summary, it appears that McLaren’s accusation about “over one thousand athletes benefiting” was a huge exaggeration or fabrication.

Where Do Things Go From Here?

The IOC Executive Board has indicated they intend to lift the suspension of the Russian Olympic Committee if no more “anti doping rule violations” are found in the last batch of athlete samples from the Pyeongchang Olympics. The results are expected in a few days.

Another ADRV may appear. If so, that will greatly complicate the effort to reintegrate Russian athletics. Even if the final tests are all clean, those who oppose Russia will continue trying to delay or prevent the full integration of Russia within the world sporting community.

The former Moscow Laboratory Director Grigory Rodchenkov is the primary weapon in the campaign accusing Russia of “state sponsored doping.”

The Russians have been accused of trying to murder Rodchenkov. But if he suddenly dies one day, it is more likely to be by the CIA. At this point, Rodchenkov has done all the damage he can to Russian sports. The only thing he could possibly do is to recant or fall apart. His handlers have prevented him from appearing before the various committees looking into the accusations. At this point, Rodchenkov could be more valuable dead than alive. His death would be a powerful weapon to disrupt the normalization of relations with Russia.

In conclusion, going back to the Pyeongchang Olympics, there should be caution before assuming the guilt of the Russian athletes who received ADRVs. It makes no sense that two Russian athletes would take useless medications knowing they will be tested and found out.

The doping incident serves the interests of those in the West who seek more not less conflict and seek to weaken Russia through “hybrid” warfare. The CIA has the means, opportunity and motive, as well as the experience and history.

If this is true, it’s another example of the dangerous descent in international relations. The Olympics movement has the goal of fostering peaceful relations. The sad truth is there are forces who want to prevent that. They prefer to demonize and divide in a quest for economic and geopolitical supremacy over “adversaries.” International sports is just another arena for them.

Rick Sterling is an investigative journalist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. He can be reached at [email protected].

80 comments for “Who Benefits from Russia’s ‘Peculiar’ Doping Violations?

  1. dahoit
    February 28, 2018 at 19:08

    ROC says Russians can compete again.da.It still sucks for this olympics.

  2. Nicola Avery
    February 28, 2018 at 15:22

    Thanks Rick for this excellent summary and good to see the reinstatement decision earlier today.

    I agree about serious questions regarding potential spiking of food, in English soccer it happened immediately before very important match between 2 big London rivals and could be a possibility here too. It is particularly odd because of a new permitted alternative to meldonium found by Russian scientists about a year ago so if they were roadtesting that for their top athletes (if at all – don’t know enough Russian to follow details), it would be strange enough in itself. I guess these days it could be private groups / individuals working for the US, UK or both in the same way that Fancy bears & others are also private groups. Or it could be a more uncomplicated rivalry from another country without involvement of any intelligence agencies.

    You are spot on re the media trying to influence and how awful for the athletes and para-athletes affected by a deluge of unfalsifiable claims based mostly on opinions of Rodchenkov and the Stepanovs. The Russians have shown great dignity and strength.

    Everything leading up to the second WADA report and onwards has been incredibly hyped, overhyped and deliberately misrepresented in the media. You are doing a great job countering it in spite of the noise!

  3. Paul Grenier
    February 28, 2018 at 12:36

    This doping narrative is indeed suspicious. And the allegations of the Russian doping during the Olympic games themselves is extraordinarily suspicious. So sad that this obvious point was absent from most mainstream media reporting in the US.

    For what it is worth, I never post as Paul G. I guess there are other Paul’s out there. Who knew.

  4. Virginia
    February 28, 2018 at 10:32

    Thanks, RS, for putting this forward. Lots of us were thinking something was rotten in the state…, but it needed to be in print.

  5. laryo
    February 28, 2018 at 08:19

    According to both the articles cited (on this particular issue) it is the Court of Arbitration in Sport that says that the two Russian athletes admitted to doping.

    The BBC: “The Court of Arbitration for Sport said he admitted the anti-doping violation.”

    The NYT: “Russian bobsledder Nadezhda Sergeeva has admitted an anti-doping violation and has been disqualified from the Winter Olympics, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) said on Saturday.”

    So, who is lying? The BBC and the NYT as claimed by the author or is it the CAS? Or all three?

    • rick sterling
      February 28, 2018 at 12:38

      Agreed that it can be confusing. Key distinction is between official ADRV and intentional doping. I contend the media is misleading to say they admitted ADRV without clarifying they deny intentionally taking any banned substance. I am not sure how the CAS considers intent but for criminal law and public common sense it is important.

    • SteveK9
      February 28, 2018 at 13:58

      It’s simple. They admitted that the testing was accurate, not that they took the substances willingly.

  6. February 27, 2018 at 22:59

    The US with its Western supporting nations is mean, brutish, unjust, arrogant — and proud of it! Humpty Dumpty will be taking a fall.

  7. old observer
    February 27, 2018 at 22:51

    Time to let the Olympics die a natural death. They are more trouble than they are worth – for the population. They are still worth billions for the corporations.

    Someone stop the government in NSW, Australia, to spend billions on new stadiums just to hold another Olympics.

    It needs to cease that the taxpayer provides the venue and the corporation get their avenue for promoting products. Nike, adidas, Coke, and Fox can spend THEIR money on stadiums.

  8. February 27, 2018 at 21:13

    As the title states old legal term Cui Bono Cui Podesta. Who benefits motive its how nefarious crimes and behaviour are examined.
    Where are the peacniks and rational logical thinkers gone? Confirmation bias and total dyStopia has taken over reason and logic. How totalitarian the times we are living.
    Post WW2 following the Nuremberg trials a new set of principles had been set out Nuremberg precedent if it were to be applied today their would be at Least 3 US heads of state along with three UK heads of state along with numerous NATO Generals that would be tired and convicted. But hell why dwell on such details when we have such western exceptionalist principles . The bastion of Humanity

  9. Billy
    February 27, 2018 at 21:02

    Athletes work their butts off to compete at the Olympics. It’d be shame some asshole decided it was a good idea to frame them to take away their medals. Just for a political vendetta.

  10. February 27, 2018 at 19:27

    The idea of containing Russia, China, Korea and Iran on all fronts including sports forgets regular ho hum daily train service from London to Beijing via Moscow. There are also regular train routes from the mainline to Poland, Spain, Kazakstan, Uzbekistan, Iran and others.

    The idea of containing all those countries also forgets China is coming out of a slump and so is Russia; exporting wholesome, non gmo food east and west with participation from thousands of new family farms started by thousands of farm families fleeing Europe’s Ukrainian bread basket for safety east of Moscow. Ancient master chess players with uninterrupted relations for a thousand years are coming out of a slump as life expectancy in the US declines..

    One side branch from the main rail line service goes to Afghanistan. That branch line has profitable rail trade up six thousand percent a year at a spice trail trading terminal maybe a thousand years old.

  11. michael crockett
    February 27, 2018 at 18:32

    This is a very good article by Rick Sterling. The issue of TUEs also came up at the summer games where some American athletes benefited, it could be argued, as a result of these exemptions. I Believe the website Fancy Bears discovered that 40 top Norwegian skiers were diagnosed as asthmatics and needed medication for treatment. It was reported that some were taking 10X the recommended dose! Upon arrival to the Winter Games, every country must declare how much of each medication they are bringing for their athletes. Norway brought 6000 doses of asthma meds. For those of you keeping score, Norway won the most medals.

  12. Hawaii guy
    February 27, 2018 at 18:06

    Who does this surprise? You knew it would happen, the west was embarrassed at Russian dominance even with all the odds stacked against them. Bravo Russia, Bravo

  13. Stiv
    February 27, 2018 at 17:13

    Pretty funny that Mr. Sterling can denigrate ongoing yet inconclusive investigations into Russian actors befuddling stupid Amerikkans, yet he comes up with a TOTALLY bogus scenario to promote. Of course, the RT quoting clowns at Consortium “News” jump up and down on cue. Rather sad..

  14. Stephen
    February 27, 2018 at 14:28

    A little off topic but I just found this on Counterpunch and it tickled my funny bone as well as expressing how I feel about the entire election fiasco.


    For the record, Kunstler actually said, “thirteen ham sandwiches with Russian dressing” but I quibble.

    • mike k
      February 27, 2018 at 17:13

      And a side of beef stroganoff with sauce tartare.

      • mike k
        February 27, 2018 at 17:19

        Not everything Russian is bad. It bears some of the great culture of the world.
        The relentless anti-Russian propaganda obscures for the uninformed Russia’s contributions to human excellence.

  15. Paul G.
    February 27, 2018 at 13:12

    This is the most flagrant and nauseating politicization of the olympics I have ever seen. Gee, strange coincidence that it occurs just in the midst of US’ hysterical promotion of Cold War version 2.0 with all its sanctions and bad mouthing the big bad ruskies. This is the sign of a dying empire (hegemon) flailing around causing chaos while trying to cling to its waning power and influence-pathetic!! An hegemon which is totally falling apart internally both socially and in terms of infrastructure.
    Anyway cheers to the Russian fans who displayed large Russian flags from the bleachers; and the Russian gold medal hockey team which told the IOC where to go by singing the Russian national anthem.

  16. Patricia Victour
    February 27, 2018 at 10:50

    From the get go, I thought this “doping scandal” was phony. Just another way to scapegoat Russia in the eyes of the dumbed-down American public.

  17. Michael Kenny
    February 27, 2018 at 10:39

    That the CIA is involved, or rather that part of the CIA that’s not promoting Putin’s interests, is wholly plausible. The purpose is, no doubt, to remind people in Russia that Putin has set the Russian Federation on a collision course with the rest of Europe, including the other former Soviet republics, and the US. That doesn’t appear to be what ordinary Russians want and these doping “pinpricks” are as good a way as any of encouraging them. The first glimmers of the post-Putin dawn are already on the horizon. Putin is neither almighty nor eternal (he’s already 65, which is old for a political leader in Europe). In regard to Russiagate, I’m amused to note that we’ve gone from “no evidence” to “no clear evidence”. That’s a climbdown!

  18. Dan Good
    February 27, 2018 at 05:07

    One avenue to investigate is what would be the leverage that the US has over the IOC? After all it was the IOC that banned Russia, not the USA. Why would they ban the Russians in view of the murky and unverified accusations of the McLaren Report and the obvious conflicts with the whistle-blower?

    • john wilson
      February 27, 2018 at 05:53

      Dan, they own the IOC so they can do what they want.

      • geeyp
        February 27, 2018 at 17:13

        Just like the USA owns NATO.

  19. exiled off mainstreet
    February 27, 2018 at 02:04

    It walks and talks like a yankee provocation.

  20. Lois Gagnon
    February 26, 2018 at 22:11

    When these allegations first came out, I immediately thought that doesn’t make any sense. Usually when things don’t make sense it’s because there is some other explanation.

    It almost seems like when there are covert interests at work they intentionally leave obvious clues that the official narrative is false. It’s their calling card for those who pay attention. But because most people take events at face value, the perpetrators and their enablers in the corp/state media have an easy time gaslighting anyone who cries foul.

    • geeyp
      February 27, 2018 at 02:28

      You got it, Lois. I say people still have to speak out and “Damn the torpedoes”. And ignore the intentional mind games the CIA, etc. play. Paying attention – it is almost like seeing right through them. I have noticed this serious-to-us game playing going on for 50 years. E.g., 911 followed the JFK “manual” so clearly to me. I sit and watch it unfold and feel helpless to do what I know needs done. If we speak our truth out to others, it still has the potential to light the fire under someone well placed to affect change.

      • Lois Gagnon
        February 27, 2018 at 09:27

        Thanks geeyp. I agree that we need to keep on full steam ahead. I post things all the time that I know most people reading it think is bonkers. They’re mostly Dembots. At some point, the light bulb has to go on as circumstances deteriorate. At least for some.

        • Lois Gagnon
          February 27, 2018 at 09:28

          is bonkers.

          • Lois Gagnon
            February 27, 2018 at 09:29

            This site needs an edit function.

          • Zachary Smith
            February 27, 2018 at 11:41

            It has one. These days I have to hit the “reload” tab at the top of my browser for it to appear. And if I have too many browser “addons” enabled, I may have to turn some of them off.

          • mike k
            February 27, 2018 at 17:10

            Just hit the refresh button if you wish to edit your response.

  21. backwardsevolution
    February 26, 2018 at 22:02

    “Did the CIA plant the doping evidence? We don’t know for certain but it should not be dismissed out of hand. The CIA has the means, opportunity and above all the motive to falsely implicate Russians in new doping cases with the goal of preventing Russia from getting beyond the international sporting sanctions and punishments. They have done vastly more deceitful, manipulative, and outrageous things than this.”

    I sometimes wonder what really happened to reporter Michael Hastings the night he wrapped his car around a tree at maximum speed in 2013, and died instantly. In 2010, Hastings wrote “The Runaway General” which resulted in U.S. Army General Stanley McCrystal being fired by Obama. From Wiki:

    “The day before the crash, Hastings indicated that he believed he was being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. In an email to colleagues, which was copied to and released by Hastings’ friend, Army Staff Sergeant Joe Biggs, Hastings said that he was “onto a big story”, that he needed to “go off the radar”, and that the FBI might interview them.

    WikiLeaks announced that Hastings had also contacted Jennifer Robinson, one of its lawyers, a few hours prior to the crash, and the LA Weekly reported that he was preparing new reports on the CIA at the time of his death. His widow Elise Jordan said his final story was a profile of CIA Director John O. Brennan.

    The FBI released a statement denying that Hastings was being investigated, at least not by their agency. This statement was incorrect as FBI had opened a file on Hastings as early as 2012 (see FBI files below). Furthermore, on the day of the crash Hastings visited his neighbor Jordanna Thigpen’s apartment after midnight and urgently asked to borrow her Volvo, saying he was afraid to drive his own car. However, Thigpen declined.

    Former U.S. National Coordinator for Security, Infrastructure Protection, and Counter-terrorism Richard A. Clarke said that what is known about the crash is “consistent with a car cyber attack.” He was quoted as saying: “There is reason to believe that intelligence agencies for major powers — including the United States — know how to remotely seize control of a car. So if there were a cyber attack on [Hastings’] car — and I’m not saying there was, I think whoever did it would probably get away with it.”

    So Michael Hastings’ next feature was going to be on John Brennan. Why was he so spooked?

    • geeyp
      February 27, 2018 at 02:14

      Unfortunately, the Michael Hastings murder seems to have, investigationally (word?) speaking, stalled at the points you’ve mentioned. FOIA could help, if the evidence hasn’t already gotten wiped.

    • Lucius Patrick
      February 27, 2018 at 17:20

      I followed that case for quite a while, and everything you speak of seems correct. I remember though that the case that Hastings was murdered lost steam on a couple of counts. One, his wife never seemed to think it was murder. Two, Hastings had been “sober” for some time (years I believe)–away from pot is my recollection–but had fallen off of his sobriety wagon recently before his death. None of this is proof of anything, but I eventually decided he probably had not been murdered–although he certainly could have been. The video of the explosion–there was a pre-flash–also suggested possibly murder–and as I recall, the police investigation itself was somewhat dubious. Hard to say…

      • Joe Tedesky
        February 27, 2018 at 17:28

        A scared widow, and a revamping of an old disorder, sounds very Deep State to me. Hand me the tinfoil. Joe

    • me under the circumstances
      March 1, 2018 at 14:44

      I have often wondered about Hastings’ convenient death under strange circumstances in his new Mercedes (?) which the manufacturer confirmed would not burst into flames as it did under such circumstances.No investigation was ever publicised, his partner was very circumspect as if she feared to speculate, and the whole story was obviously covered up. I have his book “The Operators” and it is clear he had reason to fear the PTB. When we hear the reams of nonsense about made-up issues now, yet a real and important outspoken investigator dies in a fiery explosion against a tree late at night for no apparent cause, all is silent.

  22. backwardsevolution
    February 26, 2018 at 19:31

    Rick Sterling – good article! Thank you.

    “The Olympics movement has the goal of fostering peaceful relations. The sad truth is there are forces who want to prevent that. They prefer to demonize and divide in a quest for economic and geopolitical supremacy over “adversaries.” International sports is just another arena for them.”

    Divide and conquer. I was watching a program on India, how two days after independence from Britain, the Brits carved up the map (Partition) and drew a line through the Punjab, making one side Muslim (Pakistan) and the other side Hindu (India). A million people died as a result of this. But long before Partition, it was British policy to foment unrest between Muslims and Hindus in India. By keeping the natives busy fighting and hating each other, nobody turned their attention to the real enemy, their British rulers.

    On the international scene – demonize Russia, Syria, Iran, whoever is getting in the way of economic and geopolitical supremacy.

    On the domestic scene – demonize white men, play up Identity Politics in order to deflect from the corruption of the elite and the consequent inequality.

    All done with intent to deceive and win.

    • Dave P.
      February 26, 2018 at 20:31

      backwardsevolution –

      Here is the view from the other side of the Globe. The retired veteran Indian diplomat, M.K. Bhadrakumar who had spent time on diplomatic assignments in Soviet Union/Russia, France, including the ambassador to Turkey, Uzbekistan had this to say after the Russia – Germany Hockey Match on Sunday (in Seoul). Below is excerpt from his blog:

      ” . . . More than four decades later, ice hockey in Russia still remains the ultimate national sport. Cold War has ended, but an ice hockey match between Russia and the West is still invested with the halo of an inchoate power struggle, unspoken but deeply felt. National prestige comes into play.

      So, when Russia won the men’s ice hockey title yesterday at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, it became for the victorious players a moment dripping with patriotism and national honor. They were forced to play under the rubric Olympic Athlete from Russia (OAR) – thanks to shenanigans of the US from behind the scenes to humiliate Russia. As per the agreed formula, Russian national anthem wouldn’t be allowed during the ceremonies and the victorious OAR athletes had to accept their medal with the Olympic song being played in the background.

      However, when the actual moment came yesterday, the victorious Russian ice hockey team disregarded the understanding and sang their national anthem. A Russian player was quoted as saying, “We’re prohibited from having the flag so we had to do something at least. We sang because we’re Russian people and when you win, the anthem is played. It was in our souls and heart.”

      Back home, the event had huge resonance. While reading President Vladimir Putin’s message congratulating the Russian ice hockey team, one could sense that he probably had a lump in the throat as he wrote it. The Russian people’s love for sports (or reading books or going to the theatre) can be seen as a legacy of Soviet culture. With the great social mobility that the October Revolution opened up, culture ceased to be the prerogative of the nobility or the leisurely class. Indeed, culture became ‘accessible’ to the ‘proletariat’ and the Soviet state encouraged the citizen to enrich himself from childhood. Seamless opportunities were provided to imbibe culture. It explains the staggering heights unparalleled in human history that the social formation scaled in the Soviet era.

      Politics, inevitably, crept in. The Russian’s excellence in sports became an eyesore for the Americans who somehow took it as a slur on the capitalist world. The triumphalism in humiliating Russia is obvious even today in the western media reports when its athletes must perform under the Olympic flag and Russian national anthem will not be played even when they won medals.”

      • backwardsevolution
        February 27, 2018 at 00:07

        Dave P. – great post. I agree with Mr. Bhadrakumar, and I’m glad those Russian hockey players sang their national anthem!

      • Joe Tedesky
        February 27, 2018 at 17:27

        Dave thanks for that. I learned something new today. Joe

  23. David G
    February 26, 2018 at 19:15

    And lest we forget:

    The International Paralympic Committee saw fit to ban the entire Russia team from Rio 2016, completely irrespective of any individual athlete’s guilt or innocence. And somehow we’re not supposed to call that collective punishment.

    Along with the McLaren report, this decision is what initially got me wondering whether a certain well-funded intelligence agency was helping things along.

    • tina
      February 27, 2018 at 01:29

      Where is Oscar Pastoris? Oh, yeah, I forgot he is not the Winter Olymipics

  24. jaycee
    February 26, 2018 at 18:57

    Not sure the IOC fully deserves condemnation, as it has tried to handle the allegations directed at Russian athletes in a fair-minded way while coming under enormous pressure to act harshly. The original McLaren report was deliberately timed to appear close to the beginning of the 2016 Rio Games and a swift rush to judgment against Russian competitors was broadly encouraged by the usual suspects. This latest activity also seemed suspiciously timed to promote rash judgment instead of sober analysis. No doubt some form of sabotage directed at this summer’s World Cup is in the works as well.

    What I do not understand, in this instance and so many others, is what exactly is driving this severe animus directed at all things Russian. I understand how geopolitical manoeuvres can lead to propaganda programs directed at targeted states or regimes, but the attendant expressions of outright hostility directed at Russia and Russians by media personalities, athletes, and common citizens does not really appear founded on precise motivation and it seems one must delve into psychoanalytic profiling to explain it. The animosity expressed, for example, by officials of WADA seem so virulent and personal – where does that come from?

    • Dave P.
      February 26, 2018 at 21:28


      Yes , Soccer World Cup is the premier event on the globe. All the Russian cities, including the eleven where matches will be played will be on display. It seems to me Russia is not what is portrayed here in Corporate Media. It is not like West, but it is highly advanced country in different ways. The West does not want the World to see it. There are four months to go. We have to keep our fingers crossed. And before that there is Russian presidential Election coming in three weeks. Very dangerous long three weeks indeed.

      What a ride the World is on! It is a shame that the things have come to this.

      • David G
        February 26, 2018 at 22:04

        I believe Russian authorities are all very aware that the World Cup is liable to become a theater of information warfare.

        The West’s weapon of choice as of now would seem to be the dreaded football hooligan. There have already been some pieces on RT attempting to head this off, but rest assured the Western media will be ready to pounce on the first Russian who even sneezes in the general direction of a foreign fan.

        Needless to say this is perfect territory for agents provocateurs, but if Russia is on the (foot)ball, I believe they can manage the threat.

        • Dave P.
          February 27, 2018 at 02:23

          David, I wish that they can keep politics out of sports. It is a good place to build bridges among the Nations even if they had differences. But The West is so desperate for the perceived loss of its hegemony in the World in the near future that they have completely lost all sense of morality. I would doubt very much that it can be restored now. The power for all purposes is in the hands of very corrupt Financial, Media and Entertainment, and MIC Oligarchy, who are bent upon controlling the entire planet, its resources, and its people.

          I hope that the Russians can manage the threat, as you said.

          • mike k
            February 27, 2018 at 17:05

            The US rulers lost all morality a long, long time ago – like even before putting their greedy, violent feet on this continent. The primacy of wealth and power has been the only morality of the white Europeans from the bloody beginnings of their history. We are now witnessing the full ripening of all that evil karma unfolding all around us.

          • rosemerry
            March 1, 2018 at 14:31

            It is enlightening to think that the USA boycotted the 1980 Olympics in Moscow because the USSR invaded Afghanistan, and see the USA still bogged down in the Graveyard of Empires, yet still with the meanness of spirit to try to destroy what remains of the the Olympic ideals (also see the pathetic Pence sitting at the recent Opening Ceremony).

        • John A
          February 27, 2018 at 05:21

          In the prevoius european soccer championships in France, some very beered up England ‘supporters’ had fights with Russian ‘supporters’. Never mind that England soccer ‘fans’ are infamous for hooliganism, so much so that English teams were banned from European competitions for several years, the mainsteam media in Britain argued that the russians were not soccer fans, but soldiers specially trained by Putin to cause trouble!

          • Dave P.
            February 27, 2018 at 12:29

            Yes. It is true about those English fans. England has qualified for the Soccer World Cup Championship this time. They missed last time I think. The things are going to be lively in Russia this Summer – with all the information Wars by The West intensifying against them, already.

    • Anna
      February 27, 2018 at 13:57

      “…hostility directed at Russia and Russians ..”
      Simple. Russia as an enemy translates into a bonanza for various war profiteers, from the main weapon-manufacturers to the national security apparatus (which seems to be totally useless for the US citizenry, considering Awan affair and Seth Rich’ murder). Moreover, the ever-thieving City/Wall Street deciders and the voracious multi-national corporations need cheap (even better, free) access to other nations’ mineral resources. Russians have the resources and they are helping Syria to protect her resources, thus Russians are the enemy for the banksters and oilmen. Israel, of course, wants to expand its borders “from the river of Egypt unto the river Euphrates:” https://lilo97423.wordpress.com/2011/06/14/the-borders-of-israel/
      In addition, Israel-firsters have the unbounded hatred towards Russians and Russian culture (see Bolshevik revolution http://rense.com/general43/jewishrole.htm)
      The zionization of the US Congress and military – as well as the power of the Friends of Israel in the UK – makes it easier for Israel-firsters to combine synergistically their efforts with other war profiteers such as NATO. The careful selection of incompetent fools for positions of talking heads high in the governmental hierarchy betrays the profiteering schema of the banksters/arm-dealers cabal. See the current unbelievable minister of defense in the UK, whose incompetence and foolishness are impossible to overlook. This opportunistic ignoramus is an obvious choice of the war profiteers: https://astutenews.com/2018/02/26/britain-officially-prepares-now-for-war-against-russia/

    • Joe Tedesky
      February 27, 2018 at 17:00

      jaycee you asked….

      “What I do not understand, in this instance and so many others, is what exactly is driving this severe animus directed at all things Russian.”

      Because ISIS nor Al-Qaeda isn’t equipped enough to increase the U.S. Nuclear Budget. I like you jaycee can’t for the life of me figure out just why Russia is in the Americans crosshairs. That is until I take note of who, and what countries, have nuclear weapons. In fact Obama signed it, and Trump confirmed it, that the Nuclear Budget for the next 10 years, which I believe is at and around 1 trillion dollars, is set in stone. Imagine trying to get a nuclear budget like that approved fighting a bunch of rebels armed with Kalashnikov AK47’s.

      Then there are those who thoroughly believe in Sir Halford John Mackinder’s Heartland theory. Either belief, or wedge used to increase all military budgets, is what I believe is at this moment being implemented inside of our U.S. military foundation.

      I’m just trying to help answer your question, but jaycee we Americans seem to know nothing about ‘Soft Diplomacy’ or do we ever try to seriously avoid any war, so here we are. Joe

      • Dave P.
        February 27, 2018 at 21:31

        “Imagine trying to get a nuclear budget like that approved fighting a bunch of rebels armed with Kalashnikov AK47’s.”

        Joe, you indeed have answered the jacee’s question real well. Waiting in a doctors office this morning my eyes fell on this TIME magazine, Sep. 2017. Among the thirty two most influential Women, on the front page of the magazine were listed Nancy Pelosi, Rachel Maddow, and our great diplomat Nikki Haley practicing this soft diplomacy at the U.N.

        Diplomacy? I do not think the word diplomacy is there anymore in Washington’s Dictionary. We are still thinking that we are living in sane times and things are going to get better!

        • Joe Tedesky
          February 27, 2018 at 22:30

          Dave we can only continue to describe ourselves over and over again using every metaphorical metaphor there is imaginable until we turn into one of our own creation that’s far, far and removed from any kind of reality. Rove was right, ‘we make our own reality’. This is what happens when you stand in front of the mirror to much telling yourself of how pretty and great you are. This is what happens when you go beyond believing your own lies to denying the truth that’s flashing brightly right in front of you to your own society’s detriment. Peter Pan had a better chance at survival with his philosophical mantra of ‘I believe’ to staying alive in a place called Neverland that wasn’t really there, but would someone please tell those around the DC Beltway that we ain’t in no Neverland, or are we?

          So while there are those within the U.S. Establishment who narrowly think punishing Russia is a welcome idea, then they should think twice about that, because world opinion is going against the U.S., and no one cares any longer about the stupid sabotaged and corrupted World Olympics. Just let Emperor Commodus try and entertain our Roman asses we’ll show him, we just won’t show up. Besides show me evidence of how in modern times Olympics are used to bring nations together when all I see is a Nationalistic pissing contest…. forgive my American.

          My solution would be to go to the Greek mountainside and start anew, this time don’t invite the media. Joe

  25. David G
    February 26, 2018 at 18:42

    With all due respect and thanks to Rick Sterling, I rue the Robert Parry pieces on this business that we’re never going to get to see.

    • Dan Good
      February 28, 2018 at 18:01

      Don’t we all. But I have to say the current selection of writers is first rate. Keep it up consortiumnews..

  26. Joe Tedesky
    February 26, 2018 at 18:38

    Good luck convincing the American people that our CIA is most likely the agent behind the Russian doping scandal. I get it all the time, even after I go to extremes to point out Operation Northwoods, Operation Mockingbird, Operation Gladio, and on and on, until I bring up Michael Morell making clear cut threats on television against Putin and Assad to make my case, and then this evidence of mine gets blown off as Morell is just metaphorically speaking….really? It is at that moment it all comes back to me that we are a nation who still believes that JFK died by the hands of a lonegunman, and James Earl Ray alone killed Martin Luther King, and that’s when I come to my senses that I’m still in the land of the free, and the stupid.

    • Gerry
      February 28, 2018 at 10:58

      And going back further even, but then people will think one to be heretic because some of this stuff has become sacred and protected by law. Perhaps to vocer the war crimes of Hiroshima and Nagasaki would be part of it.

    • DCV
      March 2, 2018 at 12:00

      Joe, I come to this site all the time and read you all the time with great admiration. Like you I hammer away at all these things with friends and relatives who think I’m nuts. People entrenched in their world view don’t change. Perhaps I’m guilty too. Once I determine that a good faith conversation with the objective of arriving at the truth, or some truth anyway, cannot be had (and that’s determined by the patronizing nods and grunts or grins) I just say something neutral and move on. These attitudes are not, unfortunately, confined to the US. I’m Canadian and see it, live it, daily.

  27. TonyV
    February 26, 2018 at 18:17

    Lots of CIA assets end up more useful dead than alive – Litvinenko, Nemtsov to name but two. I don’t know if Navalny has crossed the line of usefulness yet. The CIA must be itching for a ‘leading western opposition darling’ to meet an untimely end in murky circumstances just before the final stages of the upcoming election.

  28. David G
    February 26, 2018 at 18:16

    “More recently, the Court of Arbitration in Sport completely overturned the bans on 28 Russian athletes.”

    But Rick Sterling fails to include the denouement:

    A week after the CAS *upheld* those athletes’ appeals on the basis of insufficient evidence, the court ruled that the IOC could bar them from Pyeongyang anyway on the fiction that it was an “eligibility” decision rather than a “sanction”. https://www.rt.com/sport/418280-russian-olympics-appeal-cas/

    Whether or not there are any spooks’ fingerprints on that decision, it’s still a blatant case of “heads I win, tails you lose”, and should offend everyone’s sense of fair play.

    • David G
      February 26, 2018 at 18:32

      I meant Pyeongchang, of course!!

      After all the organizers’ efforts for people not to make that mistake – very bad of me.

  29. mike k
    February 26, 2018 at 18:14

    The USA is an of the enemy of the peace that the Olympics stand for, in the same way that it tries to use the UN to foment WAR, as it did in the lies it put before that body to justify the Iraq WAR. The United States of America is the number one purveyor of VIOLENCE in the world. (MLK). America hates peace. America murdered MLK because he spoke out for PEACE.

    • H Beazley
      February 27, 2018 at 18:45

      And JFK

  30. David G
    February 26, 2018 at 17:48

    I’ve been thinking about the CIA as a suspect in this whole politicized doping drama since the McLaren report came out, obviously rife with bias. I’m really glad to finally see a credible commentator like Rick Sterling voicing the same doubts.

    The Krushelnitsky case really is impossible to take seriously as a straightforward PED violation, though if we’re going to poke around in the world of dirty tricks, regrettably the athlete himself can’t be excluded as a suspect in getting meldonium into his system for the purpose of getting caught.

    Sterling’s observation that “at this point, Rodchenkov could be more valuable dead than alive” is pretty chilling – a reminder that if the CIA is involved there’s no guarantee these shenanigans will stop short of bloodshed.

    • backwardsevolution
      February 26, 2018 at 18:08

      David G – yes, Alexander Krushelnitsky (bronze medal winner in mixed curling) could be suspect as well. Maybe he took a bribe that was too juicy to turn down? I doubt it, but we can’t rule it out.

      And, yes, Rodchenkov is a sitting duck, an expendable who could easily be whacked if and when it becomes beneficial to do so. I would not want to be him.

      • David G
        February 26, 2018 at 18:11

        Yeah, I’m not accusing Krushelnetsky: my inclination is to support him. It’s just that if we’re going to wade into this kind of muck, we should prepare ourselves for all sorts of unsavory revelations.

  31. john wilson
    February 26, 2018 at 17:38

    As above; obviously the IOC is controlled by the US deep state and the IOC just does what they are ordered to do. Russian athletes taking drugs at this stage of affairs is about as likely as Assad using Sarin chemical weapons when he has all but routed the head chopping terrorists who work for the US. The food or beverages of the Russian athletes could easily be spiked by US planted agents or more likely, the samples were most likely handed over to US chemists for ‘adjustment’. The Olympics has become a farce and Russia should just not bother with it anymore. Maybe no one should participate and just let the Yanks go it alone and win all the medals available and indulge in self aggrandizement and glory They’re stupid enough to do it.

    • Joe Tedesky
      February 26, 2018 at 18:41

      John I think you just gave us the solution. Joe

    • Noel Hofman
      February 26, 2018 at 19:33

      Hahaha wonderful image :-D

      • geeyp
        February 27, 2018 at 02:03

        You cannot “call out” the CIA enough when it comes to this stuff. Never forget this same thing happened to Maria Sharapova in January 2017. She had a doctor’s prescription for meldonium. It was allowed and legal: she had taken it for a few years for a medical condition. It is not a performance enhancing drug. So it was added to “the list”, a list so new that she hadn’t even seen it yet. Results? Not allowed to play tennis professionally for one full year. The real reason was she is from Russia. If this damn trashing of Russia is not racist, then I don’t know what is. Just ask James “look like Yoda” Clapper. Why do we call it the World Series? We ain’t playing no world in it! It makes it look like we are King Shit. We don’t need no stinkin’ competition…………….

        • Dave P.
          February 27, 2018 at 14:43

          The Media, Newspapers and major TV networks, were busy drumming up this Sharapova – “Doping” as they called it – affair for a long while to humiliate Russia. Of course she was disqualified from Australia Open Tennis Tournament. The Nazi Germany pales compared to what “The West” is fast becoming now; this dirt and filth they are immersed in now, and spattering and polluting the Whole World with it.

    • tina
      February 27, 2018 at 01:06

      Do you remember what we called the DDR, or in English the GDR. Perhaps you will remember Australian female swimmers from that same era. Yes , it is true that the DDR doped their girls to be stronger, faster, and win more medals at competitions, not just the Olympics. These girls, consequently grown women, have had horrible health consequences. The general objective was to prove that the DDR, or East Germany, was far superior to the West. Katarina Witt, remember her? She was a Stasi. That is why she had opportunities. Doping has been going on for a long time, for you baseballers Braun, Bonds, McGuire, Anyone care for Lance Armstrong? And by the way, who dopes for curling?

      • Joe Tedesky
        February 27, 2018 at 02:02

        ‘Who dopes for curling’ should be the final and last remark for this whole Russian dope scandal extravaganza …tina, well done. Hope Dad & you are doing well these days. Joe

    • Vojkan
      February 27, 2018 at 02:25

      I think the Russians bothered to go just in order to take the ice hockey medal they lost in Sotchi. A matter of stupid pride. They’re only human too. I agree the Olympics have become meaningless, they’ve become more of a vanity fair than a sporting event. I did watch ice hockey though.

  32. Tom Welsh
    February 26, 2018 at 17:25

    ‘Western media have reported deceptively that the Russian athletes have “admitted” to the violations’.

    Why not say directly that Western media have deliberately lied?

    • February 27, 2018 at 18:50

      Yes. If we are to enjoy successful accelerated social evolution it is necessary to establish and maintain an alert and imaginative nomenclature initiative.

      Gargantuan gushers of goo should never be referred to as a spill, for example.

  33. Zachary Smith
    February 26, 2018 at 17:02

    In summary, it seems highly unlikely that two different Russian athletes would intentionally take medications that have no benefit but which are almost guaranteed to be detected resulting in huge harm to them and their team.

    Who Benefits?

    In my opinion “highly unlikely” is an understatement here. Nothing is impossible, and those two may have room-temperature IQs and doped themselves. More likely: this was part of the Get Russia program sponsored by Zionists or their US agents.

    The International Olympic Committee has demonstrated it is totally in the pocket of the US, and might have looked away to allow the blood samples to be “spiked”. That would be even easier than providing tainted water or food or vitamins to the athletes.

    If you’re not a Russian, obvious abuse of “medical” drugs just isn’t an issue.


  34. Realist
    February 26, 2018 at 16:59

    I usually go with the simplest most logical explanation of events. Cui bono indeed. Unless you assume the targeted athletes have some sort of self-destructive impulse or death wish.

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