December 21, 2020
Sean Ingle, one of my favorite sports journalists reports today that the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has all but wiped away the ban on Russian participation in next year's Olympics. The ban requested by the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) had been for 4 years, but now has been drawn down to two years which includes time served and will bring mother Russia back on the field in full glory, almost. Of course many international athletes and their home organizations are screaming foul.
Russian teams will be allowed to wear their colors, have 'Russia' printed on their jerseys, but shall have to have the term 'Neutral Athlete' also printed on the jersey. How tough is that? Ingle compares it to the perps of The Great Train Robbery getting a couple hours of community service. It makes me wonder what the Russians have on the three judge panel of the CAS? Are they threatening to expose their mistresses, display their proclivities for nude mud wrestling or some such? There are some other stipulations in the ruling, but for the most part the door is now wide open for Russian participation in international sport. If the doping incidents were just by individuals seeking their own personal gain, that would have been one thing, but this was state sponsored doping including manipulation of drug samples at the Russian hosted winter Olympics in Sochi. Add this to the recent exposure of Russian cyber-hacking, and it makes the likes of Turgenev, Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy and the defenders of Stalingrad wonder where their pills were when they needed them. Ingle gives us a much more detailed reasoning in his article.
Athletes Need to Understand Why Russia Is So Important To The IOC by Sean Ingle, The Guardian, December 21, 2020.