Serving the scholastic field hockey and lacrosse community since 1998

July 24, 2016 — Protecting their own

Late last night, the International Olympic Committee fell short of imposing a blanket ban on any and all athletes from the Russian Federation from the Rio Olympics. The decision came on the heels of a number of positive re-testing of samples from past Summer Olympics, plus evidence from whistleblowers in Russia alleging the switching of urine samples in Russian labs.

While the headline in this is that the IOC is barring any Russian athlete from competing in the Olympics if they had ever had a positive drug test (even if the athlete served a previous sentence), the main thrust is that there is not going to be an outright ban of Russia, its flag, and government officials from the Rio Games.

Instead, the IOC is allowing Russian athletes to enter the Olympics under criteria which, if read one way, could be loose enough to drive a truck through.

The athletes are being allowed to enter the Olympics through the filter of the individual governing body of each sport. In other words, it is up to the gymnastics federation of Russia to clear the Russian team to go to Rio, even if the federation acted in cahoots with the anti-doping cheats in the Russian labs.

At the same time, the IOC’s ruling stripped whistleblower Yuliia Stepanova of the opportunity to compete in the Olympics as a non-attached athlete.

That tells you all you need to know about the degree to which the IOC seems to want this situation to go away.



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