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Russia, Venezuela, North Korea Top Sports’ Trouble Spots

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In this March 8, 2014 file photo Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach speak during the ice sledge hockey match between Russia and South Korea of the 2014 Winter Paralympics in Sochi, Russia. On Monday, July 18, 2016 WADA investigator Richard McLaren confirmed claims of state-run doping in Russia. PHOTO: AP Photo/RIA-Novosti, Alexei Nikolsky, Presidential Press Service

The sports world is the toy store of life, nothing really too important as games and athletes come and go. Sports is little more than a form of entertainment. That’s what is generally accepted but on the world stage, geo-politics can get in the way of games.

This week, the National Hockey League’s world may have been touched with the escalating tensions between Moscow and Washington, D.C. The NHL hires players from Russia and while the sanctions appear not to include getting Russian players into the NHL, it may become more difficult to get Russian players out of the country and onto American-based NHL teams if the relationship is further strained.

There is also soccer’s World Cup in 2018 in Russia. Could there be an American boycott of that event? Anything is possible. The 1980 and 1984 Olympic boycotts were futile. Russia is not the lone sports trouble spot.

Venezuela supplies Major League Baseball with more than a handful of employees and players. The ongoing political turmoil in that South American country is getting far worse after this week’s election. So far, Major League Baseball has been quiet about the events in Venezuela.

Then there is North Korea testing of missiles. The 2018 Winter Olympics is on the Korean peninsula in South Korea. There was a suggestion a few weeks ago from South Korea’s newly elected president that perhaps North Korea could host one of the South Korean Olympics events. With the testing of missiles, the possibility of North Korea hosting one competition next February is non-existent.

The International Olympic Committee is keeping quiet on the security set up for the 2018 games but America has troops in South Korea and America will be providing a great deal of security for the South Korea Olympics. Sports is not really a toy box.

By Evan Weiner For The Politics Of Sports Business

This article was republished with permission from the original publisher, Evan Weiner.

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