I’m vocal on this subject, and I will be as long as people are CHEATING! So here’s round 526265…
The subject I’m piping up about (again) is doping in sports, or ‘dopes’ which is my preferred word. And the various committees talking about Russia, and its apparently state sponsored dopes.
Now, part of me wants the widespread ban (They are already banned from athletics, have appealed, and lost) against Russia for the 2016 Rio Olympics, because I feel it’s the only way to hit them where it hurts. It seems nothing else has worked. Maybe this is the only way to get them to listen, and toe the line.
But then another part of me feels bad for the Russian athletes that have been proven clean and will be penalised for the bad behaviour of others.
I was pondering this last point when… Eureka! The PTB (Powers That Be) suggested these proven clean athletes compete under a neutral flag. Excellent Idea!
But… Yes! There’s another ‘but’… there will probably be plenty. Let’s whiz back to the issue of the widespread ban.
I haven’t watched, listened to, or read every segment, article, or pause for thought on the subject – I have to work for a living, but I am a gleaner of information, and as far as I can see not one Russian, be it official or competitor (or not… hopefully) has expressed remorse or regret for the situation. Okay, some officials were ‘suspended pending investigation’ but to me that smacks of ‘let’s give the idiots something to cling on to’.
When the McLaren report was released on Monday I expected some seriously humble regret, but what we got was a succession of arrogant and snotty text-bites.
How can you say otherwise when Russia’s Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko apparently called the decision to uphold the athletics ban…
“politicised and illegal”.
No mate, organisations and countries are perfectly within their right to hold people and countries to account should they be in the habit of CHEATING. *angry face*
Then Evgeni Plushenko, a Russian skater, said he wasn’t a dope, but finished with…
“I suppose the countries competing with Russia, who launched this campaign, are just nursing a grievance and are burning with envy because of that.”
No mate, the worldwide system found your country’s system to be corrupt, and it would be great if you could acknowledge that, at least just a tad. *sarcastic face*
Next was Yelena Isinbayeva. Someone, whom I’ve watched in the past as a sports fan and enjoyed her accomplishments. She was quoted as saying (allegedly)…
“Thank you all for this funeral for athletics.”
No Yelena, the funeral for athletics would be continuing to ignore widespread doping. And if you mean because you won’t be competing… apparently you can, but under a neutral flag. And if competing is your life, your breath, then that’s what you’ll do. (I’m sure you can wear nail polish in the Russian colours if that helps) Otherwise I question your motives. And don’t worry about ‘other countries, I’m sure the PTB have everyone in their sights. They just started with the apparent worst offending country first. *sad face*
A little remorse may have been all that was needed, but instead, subterfuge, slight of hand, and mouse holes were the order of the system.
I will miss Yelena (and the camera on her, asleep during jumps) if she doesn’t compete, because she’s fantastic, but there will be more than one winner. The female that wins the pole-vault, the other competitors, and the spectators who are reassured in the knowledge that the PTB are doing something about dopes in sport will be winners, because Yelena might be clean, but allegedly others weren’t.
The Russian competitors and officials that are, need to stop blaming everyone else, and turn and look behind them, maybe then they can have a sport to be absolutely proud of. Winning is not winning if you’re a dope.
Now we have the hurdle of the IOC making a final decision on the rest of the ‘sports’ competing at Rio, and I URGE them to be strong. Any other decision will look like ‘persuasion’. As long as you let ABSOLUTELY PROVEN CLEAN athletes compete under a neutral flag that’s all the compromise you need at this point in time.
Trust is a many layered entity, and it breaks my heart every time I hear of a competitor that would have medalled had the dope or dopes not been in the mix. Yes, when the dopes are found out the athlete that previously came fourth gets his or her medal… in the post. Now that’s what I call ceremonial. At least if it was third or second place they got to that podium. There has to be trust that the athletes want to compete clean, coaches want their athletes to be clean, and if not we have to trust that officials all the way up the ladder will stamp hard on dopes. It might get worse before it gets better, but I want to be able to watch sports without that niggling doubt in my mind, the one that questions whether the competitor is a dope every time they step up to the line. And yes Gatlin, I’m looking at you.
Sources for quotes: BBC, The Indian Express, Bangkok Post