Only Fools Russian


The Russian Olympic team should not be banned from the games in Rio next month.

The International Olympic Committee said it will “explore the legal options” before deciding whether to implement “a collective ban” on all Russian competitors for the global showpiece, which starts on 5 August.

That’s not fair, because the Russian Olympic team isn’t actually a “team”, they’re just called that because they all represent the same country. The shooters don’t train with the swimmers, the fencing team don’t exercise with the weightlifters and the boxers aren’t working out with the sailors. Each sport keeps to itself and some sports may be clean. To rob a sportsperson of their dream to compete in the biggest sporting event there is, just because the people at the top ran a doping scam on an industrial scale, is just mean.

An investigation commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency says Russia’s sports ministry “directed, controlled and oversaw” manipulation of urine samples provided by its athletes. The problem rests with the sports ministry, they’re the ones who should be punished.

Banning all Russian athletes from Rio is the easy option and won’t get to the root of the problem. The answer is to bring in a new rule. A rule that states that if any athlete from any country is shown to have banned drugs in their urine, then the minister in charge should have to drink that urine sample.

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