By Evan Weiner |
The Russians are coming! No they’re not! Yes they are! At least that will be the case at the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics and the 2022 Beijing Winter Games.
Officially, pending an appeal, Russia as a country will not compete at those two Olympics yet Russian athletes who test clean as per World Anti-Doping Agency rules, can show up to the Olympics. They just cannot wear a Russian uniform, be part of Team Russia and if a Russian athlete wins a Gold Medal, there will be no Russian national anthem played at the medal ceremony. The World Anti-Doping Agency’s executive committee has barred Russia from most international sports competitions that fall under its jurisdiction until 2023.
Russia was tossed from the 2018 Olympics by the IOC for a doping scheme although Russia had many allies saying that Russia should have been there. The IOC and the World Anti-Doping Agency were at odds over whether Russia should have competed in the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics. Russia did participate with the IOC’s backing after WADA suggested a ban. In 2017, the World Anti-Doping Agency President Sir Craig Reedie did an about face and was against banning the Russian team from the 2018 South Korean Games. Switzerland’s Patrick Baumann said the National Anti-Doping Organization members including the United States and Britain, did not have the “moral ground” to push for banning the Russian team. The Russian athletes participated in the South Korea Games as neutral competitors. WADA’s declaration could eventually have an impact on Russia bidding for the 2032 Summer Olympics and bar the country from attempting to host that event. The Russian team is barred from the 2023 FIFA World Cup. Vladimir Putin and other Russian officials are not welcome at the Tokyo Games. Sporting events could be pulled from Russia. But the Russians are coming to Tokyo.
This article was republished with permission from the original publisher, Evan Weiner.