Rio Paralympics: Are Russia Tainted Forever?
Updated: Mar 18, 2018
The news around the latest doping scandal has hit, and it seems that Russia are the country under the spotlight.
It’s official. A large number of Russian athletes have been banned from competing at the Rio Paralympics next month.
Here is exactly what happened.
The McLaren report published just last month revealed a state-sponsored programme around doping that was run by Russia. Because of this report, The IPC (International Paralympic Committee) have conducted suspension proceedings and from this, confirmed that 267 Russian athletes across 18 sports will now miss the Olympic Games.
Of course, Russia are going to appeal the decision but let’s face it; they won’t get very far.
Here is what Sir Philip Craven (IPC president) said in a conference about this news:
"The anti-doping system in Russia is broken, corrupted and entirely compromised. The Russian Paralympic Committee are unable to ensure compliance with and enforcement of the IPC anti-doping code and the world anti-doping code within their own national jurisdiction and they can not fulfil its fundamental obligation as an IPC member. As a result, the Russian Paralympic Committee is suspended with immediate effect."
As you can imagine, the Russian athletes were angry, and frustrated by this news after training for the Paralympics, but as Craven said, it's not about the athletes. It’s about the state-run system that is cheating the athletes and how the doping culture is ingrained in Russian sport.
Richard McLaren, the law professor behind the report found that manipulated urine samples were provided by the Russian sports ministry on behalf of their athletes between 2011-2015. On the back of this, the IPC found that samples during the Sochi 2014 Paralympic games were swapped.
Rather than banning Russia completely from Rio, the IOC (on the criticism of WADA) decided to give each individual sporting federation the power to decide whether Russian competitors who were clean were allowed to compete. The outcome of this was that 270 Russian athletes had been given the all-clear, and will compete next month.
I have some serious worries around what the future holds for Russia and sporting events. I don’t think this will be the last time that Russia will be in hot water from doping, and I think next time, it will be a lot worse.
I wish I knew what the solution was. Doping makes a mockery of the sporting world, and takes hard work and dedication away from the athletes that compete clean.