Banning Russian Athletes? Politicized International Sports Competition Rears Its Ugly Head Again

Olympism and other major international sports events are all about profiteering, exploiting athletes, scandalous wheeling, dealing, collusion, and bribery, marginalizing the poor, other disenfranchised groups, and affected communities, sticking taxpayers with the bill, and providing nothing in return but hype and the illusion of amateur athletics at their best.

International sports competition is also highly politicized.

In December 2017, the International Olympic Committee (IOC), complicit with US hostility toward Moscow, banned Russian athletes from participating under their nation’s flag — despite no evidence of state-sponsored doping.

The practice occurs in amateur and professional sports, athletes on their own using performance enhancing drugs.

Banning clean athletes from countries for actions of rules violators breaches the letter and spirit of international sports competition.

On Monday, Tass reported the following:

“The Executive Committee of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has approved recommendations of the Compliance Review Committee (CRC) to strip Russia of the right to participate in major international sports tournaments, including the Olympics and World Championships, for the period of four years” — citing a WADA press statement, adding:

“WADA has also banned Russian state officials, ROC and RPC officials, from attending global sports tournaments.”

They include the Olympics, Paralympics, and FIFA World Cup. RT reported that Russian athletes not accused of doping will be allowed to compete as “neutrals.”

Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) championships games scheduled for St. Petersburg and the 2021 EUFA Champions League final in the city aren’t affected by the ban.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry slammed WADA for “squeez(ing) Russia out of international sports,” a politicized action.

Last month, WADA’s Compliance Review Committee called for punitive actions against Russia’s Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA), along with banning the country from hosting major international sporting events for four years.

Individual athletes should be held accountable for their actions, along with personal trainers or others if found to be complicit – not entire teams or nations without what’s known as evidentiary standards and burdens of proof required in credible legal proceedings.

These standards require “clear and convincing evidence,” beyond a reasonable doubt, the highest evidentiary standard.

Arbitrarily banning Russia from participating in major international sports competition is a politicized move, unrelated to legal standards — part of unacceptable US-sponsored Russia bashing.

In 2016, WADA claimed over 1,000 Russian athletes were involved in state-sponsored doping – credible evidence proving the allegation not provided.

WADA’s latest politicized action is further evidence of international sports competition’s dark side, polar opposite the spirit of amateur athletics at their best.


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Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

Visit his blog site at

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Articles by: Stephen Lendman

About the author:

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III." Visit his blog site at Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network. It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.

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