Does that not sound absurd, and incredibly petty to you? It does to me. It comes across as wholly desperate too. It's like the Western elites have realized that Putin has beaten them in the geopolitical field so they have changed course to a different field, one much smaller and less important in the grand scheme of things. They have enlisted their agents in the media to act as judge and jury despite the fact that there is actually no real evidence of "institutionalized doping", a fact that's apparently insignificant to journalists who have apparently long ago abandoned integrity and objectivity.
This is what tool-of-the-elites WADA reported: During the Sochi Olympic Games in 2014, Russian athletes were all working directly with the FSB to pass drug tests. The FSB was apparently passing vials of urine through a hole in the wall to athletes. They also somehow were able to put the urine in sterile containers and add salt in the process. WADA does not actually have any proof of this. They are relying on testimony from Grigory Rodchenkov, a Russian national who defected to the USA after being fired for, you guessed it, doping fraud. Pot, meet kettle.
It's almost as if someone at WADA read a script from an aspiring screenwriter instead of a real report. No decent reporter would take this man's claims seriously. Part of journalism is investigating the person making the claims as much as the claims themselves. It doesn't appear any investigating appears to have been done, most likely because Rodchenkov is being 'influenced' by the West to say the things he's saying. Why else would the US hire him, a criminal, other than to lend legitimacy to his claims?
Now, it's fair to say that there probably are athletes in Russia who take performance-enhancing drugs. In the cutthroat world of Olympic competition, many athletes will look for any opportunity to give them a leg up on their fellow competitors. Olympic success can lead to quite the financial windfall for the athletes who medal and/or capture the attention of the public. There are plenty of reasons for athletes to cheat, which I'm sure some do. Do I believe Rodchenkov's story about cloak-and-dagger efforts by the FSB to hide doping by ALL of the Russian national team? Not for a second. The FSB surely has more important things to do. Would you believe the CIA worked secretly with American athletes to help them pass drug tests? It sounds just as ridiculous.
But back to the cheating. Would it surprise you to learn that athletes from other countries have been discovered doping in previous Olympics? Kenya has a "doping crisis" among its athletes. At least 20 runners have tested positive for steroids in the last two years. It did not surprise me to read that the NY Times calls Kenya's doping problem "inept, but not corrupt". The NYT actually has the gall to say, "There's no indication that the East African country has a state-sponsored conspiracy to hide cheating." One has to wonder why the Times has such a high threshold for evidence for one country with 20 known examples of cheating compared to Russia, where Maria Sharapova was roasted over the coals for testing positive for melodonium, a drug which only became illegal to use 6 months before she tested positive. Plus, there are many questions about how many athletes were even made aware of the rule change making melodonium a banned substance.
There's also the Jamaicans, whose sprinters won gold in 2008 and 2012, along with 2011, 2013 and 2015 World Championships. It turns out one of the runners on their famed 4x100 relay team, Nesta Carter, just last month tested positive after his tests at the '08 Beijing Olympics were re-tested and both 'A' and 'B' tests failed. In fact, when the IOC recently re-tested urine samples from the 2008 Beijing Olympics, it found a further 31 athletes from 12 countries had cheated. Another member of that world-class team, Asafa Powell, received an 18-month ban after testing positive in 2014 (it was reduced to 6 months on appeal). In 2013, 6 Jamaican athletes failed drug tests, and even more concerning was that the entire board of the Jamaican Anti-Doping Agency resigned that same year. The former head of WADA, Dick Pound, had this to say about the whole situation:
The Jamaican Anti-Doping Commission was doing almost no testing on their top-level athletes in the period leading to Beijing and London. You had a complete dominance of both of those competitions by those athletes. Such enormous dominance is of itself suspicious.Kenyan runners routinely are among the best in the world at their sport, particularly in long-distance running where, since the 1960's, they have more record-holders and Olympic medalists than any other country. The Jamaicans have been the best in the world at sprinting and Usain Bolt in particular has caught the attention of the sports world. But if you ban Jamaica and Kenya, you ban the world's marquee sprinter and those amazing Kenyan runners. I have no doubt that the Olympic sponsors and television companies that have paid millions of dollars for Olympic rights would not hesitate to voice their displeasure over that decision. It's also worth noting that neither Kenya or Jamaica have stood up against the Empire the way Russia has, so they clearly have not had the sustained efforts to demonize them. The message is, it's OK as long as you don't stand up to the bully.
We live in the Age of Cheating. As far back as 1992, papers were written about how anti-doping regulations were no longer moral guidelines but barriers to be overcome. Even ultra-liberal rag The Guardian had to recently take a breather from its Russia-bashing to take stock of the fact that calling someone out for 'doping' in this day and age is like handing out speeding tickets on the Indy 500.
Fact: US athletes have also been been caught cheating. In fact, the rest of the world might just be following their lead. Marion Jones won three gold medals and two bronze medals at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, but was later stripped of her titles after admitting to steroid use in the widespread BALCO scandal that occurred in 2002. That scandal not only uncovered her doping, but also more than 20 top-level athletes, including Jones's ex-husband, shot putter C.J. Hunter, and 100m sprinter Tim Montgomery.
Surely the world has not forgotten about Lance Armstrong, a world-class cyclist who routinely won the most prestigious and well-known road race in the world, the Tour de France, and who eventually was discovered to have been the ringleader of "the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen." In 2012 he was banned from ever participating in sports again and was stripped of all his major victories after 1998, including 7 Tour de France titles. A CNN article later called it "the epic downfall of cycling's star, once an idolized icon of millions around the globe," noting that it "stands out in the history of professional sports."
This is to say nothing of US professional sports and the widespread cheating that occurs there. The US pretends it has the moral high ground in this and other matters, but it actually doesn't. No other country is so corrupt across the board, so it very likely the worst offender when it comes to cheating in sports.
Imagine Russians' incredulity when told by Americans that they are cheaters. Like I said before, it's the pot calling the kettle black.
Sure, there are probably Russian athletes who cheat. And those athletes should not be allowed to compete. But the same should be said for any athlete from any country. If there are claims of an "institutionalized coverup of doping", as there is in the case of WADA's claims against Russia, then there had better be unassailable evidence to back up those claims.
But we were not given any such evidence, only the claims of one man, and ensuing derision from every propaganda rag in the West. Because of those baseless claims, they howl that anyone from Russia should be completely banned from competing. Luckily the IOC didn't fall for all the nonsense and issued a sensible ruling. But not before those same rags attempted to influence the outcome by running news articles in the days leading up to the ruling:
Daily Mail: ENTIRE Russian team of 387 athletes will be banned from competing at the Rio Olympics as punishment for their country's state-sponsored doping program
The Sun: GOOD RIDDANCE IOC set to announce ban on all 387 Russian athletes from Olympic Games in Rio today (The good riddance line is especially despicable)Looks like these outlets need to get better sources before making themselves look like fools.
Other propaganda outlets took a different tack in trying to pressure the IOC. The UK'sTimes published a "Letter to the IOC": announced that if Russian athletes were allowed to participate in Rio, Bild would have them "exempted" from its medal count and declare all Russian athletes' results "null and void". How very childish of them.
The Guardian published an article saying "there's no place for cheats" at the Rio Olympics: "If Russia is not excluded the world will not be able to believe in what it sees in the arena at the Olympic Games next month."
Maybe the Guardian should focus on its own athletes in the UK. A British doctor was recorded claiming he had doped up to 150 sportspeople over six years and the taxpayer-funded UK Anti-Doping Agency (UKAD) was given evidence about his activities two years ago and failed to act on them.
It should be clear by now that Russia in no way is the "black sheep" when it comes to doping in athletics. If the IOC wants to ban a country when some of its athletes test positive for banned substances, then they might as well go ahead and ban every country on Earth.