Will Russia Be Banned from Rio Games?

 

For those who don’t follow the day to day operations of the International Olympic Committee, there is a possibility that Russia may not field a team in this August’s Summer Olympics in Brazil. The IOC and the World Anti-Doping Agency, a pair of organizations which act as if they are sovereign nations are following the lead of the International Association of Athletic Federations which sanctioned  Russia last November after a WADA Independent Commission report that found evidence of state-supported doping of Russian athletes The IAAF will spend the next two months trying to figure out if Russia has made enough progress that would allow the country to compete in Rio.

But a German TV network, ARD earlier this week in a documentary claimed Russia has done little since the suspension and that coaches banned for doping were still working throughout Russia and also reported that Russian officials were tipping off athletes ahead of drugs tests. WADA claimed it was dismayed with the German TV documentary and vowed to further investigate. The problem here is that if WADA is in charge of drug testing and WADA uses public funding from countries globally to operate, how come WADA is dismayed by a TV show and has to depend on a bunch of TV producers telling a story that the group should know about. That seems so typical in sports, reporters dig up stories such as Alex Rodriguez and the Miami anti-aging clinic Biogenesis and then react which brings up the question as to why sports organizations fail to police themselves. Meanwhile, the host country, Brazil is one of six countries that could end up on WADA’s non-compliance code with Belgium, France, Greece, Mexico and Spain. WADA wants those countries to do drug testing on athletes. Kuwait’s Olympic Committee has been suspended by the IOC because of government interference. The Rio Games could be a mess.

I’m Evan Weiner for The Politics of Sports Business.Republished with permission, original
 

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