So I decided to do a quick post today partly to announce a whole series of posts I am currently in the middle of writing but also just to give a quick opinion on the recent decision of the IOC to not give Russia a blanket ban from Rio.
THE IOC DECISION
A lot of journalists, athletes, former athletes have had their say on the matter and to be honest there isn’t that much that I can add to what has already been said except for that the decision not to ban Russia makes me feel somewhat uneasy. After all, there is strong evidence that Russia sabotaged an entire Winter Olympic Games that they were hosting just a couple of years ago! You would think the IOC would be furious at this yet they seem surprisingly ok with it. I also felt uneasy with the explanation being based around ‘collective responsibility vs individual justice’. This is not only basically the Russian defence of ‘please don’t punish our clean athletes because of our dirty ones’ but it also misses the entire point of all the reports that have come out about Russian doping in sport. This, despite the Russian attempts to suggest otherwise, is NOT a repeat the BALCO scandal where a group of athletes were attempting to cheat and get away with it, this was an organised, nationwide system that not only tried, by various means, to hide positive tests but encouraged athletes to use those illegal substances in the first place.
How the IOC can say the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) has no suspicion of wrong-doing (which admittedly could be the case) when in the same sentence they say that the ROC is under the Russian Ministry for Sport which is most definitely implicated in the McLaren report is ridiculous and non-sensical. Bach’s supposed friendship with Putin only makes you wonder what was said behind closed-doors. Actually it doesn’t, one can have a pretty good idea how those conversations went.
There is also the inconsistency of barring Russians who had previously failed tests or were implicated in recent reports whilst other nations can select previously busted athletes just creates an even bigger mess, let alone leaving it to individual federations to figure it all out in less than 2 weeks. I also thought it was pretty insulting that the IOC, after banning Yulia Stepanova from competing, thought that inviting her and her husband to Rio, was a suitable offer to make up for banning her. It was an invite which I suspect the IOC already knew they wouldn’t accept. Why the hell would they accept it?
Somehow the IAAF has ended up being the only organisation to maintain this ban with the exception of Darya Klishina who will probably be the only Russian competing in track and field in Rio and they allowed Stepanova to compete before the IOC reversed that decision at the last moment. They’re still not perfect by any means and but they did what most people thought they wouldn’t do and the IOC will perhaps take a little heat of them for a short while. Until the next scandal hits anyway.
MY OLYMPIC PREVIEW SERIES
So the athletics timetable starts two weeks on Friday and with that in mind I will be releasing my Olympic preview over the next week or so. It will closely follow to my World Indoor Championship preview back in March including the picking of every single medallist in every event with a decent sized preview and a predicted medal table at the end of it. To say this is a lot of writing is an understatement so I will be releasing it over six (!) parts dividing them into different sections.
The first post will be published on Friday 29th July and will focus on the sprint events and then I will post the other 5 parts next week from Monday to Friday. I hope that you all enjoy reading it and are getting ready for the action which I hope is what people will be talking about during the Games themselves. I will announce when my posts have been published on my twitter (you can follow me if you scroll down the bottom of this page) or you can just check this site next week to see if it us up yet.
Hopefully you will join me on Friday for the start of my Olympic preview so until then thanks for reading!