Russia is banned from Tokyo Olympic 2020: disclose state sponsored doping program for athletes

Last Monday, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has unanimously agreed to ban Russia from global sporting competition for the next four years, including the up-coming Japan Olympic.

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Сегодня отмечается Международный Олимпийский день. ⠀ ⠀Учрежден по решению Международного олимпийского комитета в 1948 году. ⠀ ⠀Дата выбрана не случайно: в этот день в 1894 году в Париже на Международном конгрессе по вопросам физического воспитания представители 12 стран одобрили предложение барона Пьер де Кубертена возродить Олимпийские игры. ⠀ ⠀Участники конгресса принял решение о проведении первой олимпиады в 1896 году в Греции. В первых играх приняли участие более 300 атлетов из 13 стран, были разыграны медали в 13 видах спорта. ⠀ ⠀За время существования олимпийского движения было проведено 50 олимпиад (зимних и летних).

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Doping refers to an athelet’s use of prohibited drugs or methods to improve training and sporting result. Recently, the WADA discovered that that the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) failed to abide to the Anti-drug rules. According to CNN news, “WADA’s punishment relates to inconsistencies in data retrieved by WADA in January 2019 from the Moscow lab at the center of the 2016 McLaren report, which uncovered a widespread and sophisticated state-sponsored sports doping network.”

Dr Grigory Rodchenkov, the whistleblower of the incident, was praised by WADA for pointing out the error in the data. After the disclosure of the corruption and fraud, Rodchenkov, a former Russian anti-doping official, had fled to the United States. He has disclosed that “those involved in the corruption of certain sports such as track and field, weightlifting, skiing, biathlon and bobsled” (BBC)

According to a statement that Rodchenkov sent via his lawyer Jim Walden, “Russia’s many doping and obstruction sins will now get some of the punishment they richly deserve. For far too long, Russia has weaponized doping fraud and state-sponsored criminal activity as a tool of foreign policy.”

According to a BBC article, he International Paralympic Committee (IPC) said deplored that those who manipulate data from the Moscow laboratory before it was transferred to WADA appears to undermine the “the principles of fair and clean sport”, adding that such action is a “sincere lack of respect towards the rest of the global sporting movement” and this kind of attitude is “not welcome[d] and has zero place in the world of sport”

Unfortunately, Russia’s flag and anthem will not be played at Tokyo Olympic 2020, World Cup Qatar 2022 and Winter Olympic Beijing 2022. However, athletes who can prove that they are not under the influence of drug will be able to attend and compete under a neutral flag.

WADA said that the Russia’s anti-doping organization had 21 days to appeal the decision and many believe that Russia will definitely bring this case to court. Svetlana Zhurova told TASS News Agency that she is 100% that Russia will go to court because they “must defend our athletes”.

In 2013, a previous Russian race walker, Igor Yerokhin, was banned for a lifetime due to dope usage. In 2008 Summer Olympic Beijing he was tested positive for prohibited substances and was disquieted for two years. In 2011, he placed second at the European Race Walking Cup. In 2012 London Summer Olympic and got fifth place. However, after the the abonormal hematological profile indicated on his biological passport, he received a life ban and all results since 2011 will be erased.

According to the New York Times, In 2016, vast reach of Russian Doping, adding that over 1000 athletes in 30 sports, which “intensified pressure on the International Olympic Committee to reassess Russia’s medal from 2014 to 2018 Winter Games. In the article, it ststed that the investigation is led by a Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren. He said that it is “impossible” to know the full extent of the cheating, claiming that “international sports completions have unknowingly been hijacked by the Russians”.

Recent years, those conspiracy theories have not been favoring Russia. We can only wait to see how this case prevails in the next three weeks. Luckily, the athletes that can prove themselves clean can still be participating in the Olympic games but not representing their country anymore.