For the younger readers, our headline paraphrases the 1960s Alan Arkin film, The Russians Are Coming. The Russians Are Coming about a Soviet submarine that runs adrift off a small Cape Cod community and the reaction of the local villagers.
The Russians Are Coming. The Russians Are Coming: Trailer
So The World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) has voted unanimously to ban Russian teams and athletes from competing under their flag at the Tokyo Olympics and the 2022 World Cup football competition in Qatar. The ban will be for four years. Seems the Russian sport juggernaught has once again run aground this time hitting a submerged testing lab in Lake Lausanne where WADA hangs out.
However WADA has thrown out a bone for individual Russian athletes who can test clean. They will be allowed to compete under a neutral flag. Don't ask me who designs the neutral flag, I suggest a white hankie on a stick.
The Russians can still appeal this decision, which was unanimous, by going before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). No way a Russian oligarch will be sitting on that voting body. This will have to be done very quickly to be successful and still permit Russians to compete under their own Red White and Blue national flag. Odds aren't very great that this will happen, unless the Russians can come up with some incriminating video of the panel sitting on the CAS.
Travis Tygart, the Execitive Director for the US Anti Doping Agency (USADA) wanted the punishment to go further by not allowing even 'clean' Russian athletes to participate in the Olympics.
This all boils down to a very politically motivated show of gamesmanship on the part of everyone. There is no doubt in my mind that the Russians cheated on an institutional level and continue to cheat and attempt manipulation of evidence when given a second chance to come clean. The world stage is the world stage. That is why actors wear makeup to aid them in pretending to be some other character. Now however the commercial side of life makes the selling of advertising and image as important as who wins, and if a little make up will help bring in more glory and sell more tickets, then so be it. I find it a tad ironic that this same day there was a release of information about how the American public was lied to by three successive governments concerning our involvement in Afghanistan to the cost of $1 Trillion and 2300 servicemen and women's lives. George Brose
from Richard Mach
Comment from Geoff Williams
11:23 AM (9 minutes ago)