WADA, the IAAF and the IOC are united that Russian athletes should, by default, be banned from competing at the Rio Olympics.
IOC president Thomas Bach says proven, clean, Russian athletes could take part under their own flag.
IAAF says that on an ‘exceptional basis’, clean athletes can compete as neutrals.
WADA also agrees with athletes competing on an exception-only basis, but believes they should be able to compete under their own nations flag.
Valerie Adams says ‘no way’ to Russian athletes and you wouldn’t mess with her! She, possibly more than anyone has been directly affected by drug cheats, although it was a Belarussian that cheated her out of gold in London.
A report commissioned by WADA and a German documentary provide compelling evidence that there has been state-supported doping, possibly to the point of altering test results – clearly there are issues that can’t be denied. The Russians claim that with their administrative changes, these issue are being addressed.
A wee funny, the Russian government have appointed Putin to manage the fallout with the international community – a bit like asking the lion to negotiate with the zebras!
Should all athletes from one country be punished for the sins of some and the clear wrong-doings of their administration? Is it reasonable that proven drug cheats from the past can compete when known, innocent athletes are banned?
Do the various organisations have the right view, let the athletes back on a case-by-case basis when proven clean? How will this work in practice – IAAF say that do not have the ability to test everyone comprehensively? Pass one test and you’re in? Does this make a mockery of the ban and just suggest an IAAF power play?
Surely those that do qualify should be able to compete under their national flag. IAAF administrators appear to have forgotten that the sport is about the athletes, not the organisations and their politics.
The IOC claim any Russian athletes must be ‘[a member] of the team of the Russian Olympic Committee because only a national Olympic committee can enter athletes… there are no teams of international federations’. Politics with the IAAF?, or has the IOC just forgotten there is a team of refugees from different countries competing under the Olympic flag?
The WADA head says that there is need for a ‘cultural change’ in Russia. Is separation and banishment the answer?
Andoora, Argentina, Bolivia and Ukraine have all been declared non-compliant in their testing, why can they still compete? Kenya has been put under the same regime as Russia by the IOC, although this is claimed to be due to a lack of testing facility in Kenya, rather than systematic doping.
Does this raise the question that all international testing should be under the control of WADA? Give them some real teeth as they struggle for relevance at times.
The Olympics are founded on the concept of international unity, does this decision put justice over tradition as some have suggested?