Russian Doping Blurs Innocence and Guilt, With Olympics Caught in Middle

The manipulation of a drug-testing database raised doubts about 145 Russian athletes suspected of cheating. But with their records altered, some may yet compete in next year’s Tokyo Games.

Comments: 12

  1. "Clean athletes" don't really exist in the Olympics. Yes, it would be too jaded to say that all athletes are utilizing performance enhancing drugs, but a good percentage definitely are. Sure, the Russians have gone way overboard and have definitely acted unethically, but in the end they were the ones that just got caught. Drug use is rampant in sport, especially at the Olympic level. There is definitely actors at play that do not want to admit or remotely notice this (i.e. nike) because it will affect their bottom line. We need to recognize this, and reconsider as a society how we treat sport.

  2. @yessar Many atheleteswho test "clean" on bio-metrics markers actually have doped to get to the maximum allowable limits on the tests. I can believe the Russians are the most blatant about their processes. I also believe there are others--the incentive to be on the podium is basically a validation of their whole life.

  3. @yessar I say, if they are professionals and getting paid to promote products and entertain fans, let them dope. Allow it under medical supervision, after all, it is drugs we are talking about. I am better entertained by people running faster and farther, jumping higher or longer, or hitting more homeruns for that matter. The drugs we are talking about are not illegal if administered medically, they are just against the rules. Change the rules for professionals, and put the resources used for enforcement toward properly regulating amateurs to remain amateurs. Let the pros destroy their bodies to make money if they want.

  4. Obviously, the previous sanctions did not deter even more blatant and widespread cheating. When cheating is a national policy, only national across the board the punishments will deter further violations. This level of national cheating happened before with East Germany, many of whose athletes later suffered health issues from the doping they did to win medals. Meanwhile, the hard work by lean athletes was essentially punished by allowing them to be cheated. Either enforce the rules very vigorously to protect clean athletes from all nations, or abolish the rules.

  5. We need Russian athletes step to forward and admit to the offenses, or at least expose offenders if they were forced. Until that happens, they and the officials responsible will continue to have plausible deniability. One whistle blower is not enough witness testimony. Find athlete witnesses and offer them what they want - immunity from sanction or being stripped of titles. This has to be handled like a prosecution not a governmental inquirey.

  6. The Russians' actions throughout the whole doping affair have been precisely in keeping with their behaviour in all spheres of dealings with foreign countries: outraged denials with accusations of "Russophobia," and then Niagara Falls of dis- and misinformation, with wild speculation disseminated through as many mouthpieces as possible in order to sow doubt, known as the "Rotten Herring" approach. Acceptance of any degree of Russian participation in the Olympics will only serve to discredit further this broken and morally bankrupt exercise in manufactured pomp and pageantry, but that's not to say the bottom of the Olympics' reputation was not reached sometime in the waning years of last century, and now ranks with Cycling's Tour de France in terms of credibility. Perhaps Lance Armstrong could be appointed the middleman for the Russians in this affair so that everyone at least knows where we stand on the issues.

  7. How about letting Russian athletes compete in track and field event initial rounds but preclude them from progressing any further and all on their dime. And they can’t stay in the Olympic Village. Up to them if they want to show up

  8. Isn't the database results backed up more than once!!!??? Review the back ups to find the cheaters! JT

  9. Geewhiz… How can our President admire Russia so much? The idea that the Russian government would get criminally involved in something so infinitesimally unimportant as Olympic success is shocking... Imagine a government that cannot support fair sportsmanship! That Russians will cheat at something so insignificant makes you wonder...what will they do about larger world issues? Russia is sleazy to the nth degree... Trust but verify...Indeed!

  10. The fact that anyone is still discussing anything except a blanket ban on all Russian sports and athletes for however many years (8+ in my opinion) is ridiculous. Yes, some innocent athletes might get unfairly punished. Too bad. That is the only way Russia will stop cheating.

  11. The Olympic Death Penalty is what is needed to send Putin a message - Russian athletes should be insulted by this criminal’s actions - they are good enough to win without cheating but they may need to pay the price for one Olympics to hammer that message into Putin’s head.

  12. Sigh. Some things never change. Russia will be Russia. The oligarchs in Russia live in their own twisted, power-juiced world. All of these shenanigans work just fine in the motherland full of conspiracy theories and crude overt fact bashing. Unfortunately, viewed in the daylight in the real world, Russian efforts in sports, and politics for that matter, seem sophomoric, silly and sad. Those poor Russian people and the handful of talented Russian athletes who would likely just as soon compete fairly. BAN RUSSIA.