Joe Quinn, Russia Insider:
Military intimidation failed. Economic warfare failed. So now it’s time for a global smear campaign.
According to the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) most recent results (2014), the leading sports doping offenders are as follows: Russia (148), Italy (123), India (96), Belgium (91), France (91), Turkey (73), Australia (49), China (49), Brazil (46) and South Korea (43).
What hasn’t been made clear is that these figures encompass all sports, not just Olympic sports. As an example, of Australia’s 49 offenses, 20 of them came in Rugby League. Should that be used in deciding whether or not to ban Australia from competing in the Olympics? Obviously not.
What also hasn’t been made clear is that it is irrelevant to look at the absolute number of transgressions of any nation in making a decision on whether or not to impose a ban. We would expect the US, for example, to have a much higher number of athletes caught doping than Fiji because the US has far more athletes than that tiny nation. Likewise, it makes sense that Russia would have more athletes caught doping than, say, Bolivia.
The actual numbers
When we look at doping offenses by countries in Olympic sports, and the number of athletes they send to the Olympics, we find the following:
Italy: 104 offenses with 284 athletes; Russia: 91 offenses with 436 athletes; India: 67 offenses with 83 athletes; France: 50 offenses with 330 athletes; China: 46 offenses with 396 athletes; Turkey: 35 offenses with 114 athletes; Brazil: 31 offenses with 258 athletes; Iran: 29 offenses with 53 athletes; South Africa: 27 offenses with 125 athletes; Belgium: 25 offenses with 115 athletes.
Do the math yourself; by these official numbers, Italy has the most offenses, and from a smaller pool of athletes than Russia. India has a higher rate of offenses than Russia, as does Turkey and Iran. Meanwhile, South Africa and Belgium have virtually the same rate of positive doping as Russia.
One of the charges is that the Russian Ministry of Sports approved the doping. If so, why would they have done such a poor job as to have fewer people cheating than Italy? Did the Italian Ministry of Sport take part in Italian doping? If not, how could Italy have so many athletes doping without their Sports Ministry knowing?
Also, who remembers the names of Tyson Gay, Tim Montgomery, Justin Gatlin, Dennis Mitchell, Shawn Crawford and Carl Lewis? Yes, all 100-meter sprinters from the US, all having made the final over the past five (summer) Olympic games, some of whom “won” the gold medal. Six American sprinters were all caught doping in the same discipline over decades, but their Sports Ministry knew nothing?
Or who remembers the Chinese Swim Team from the 1990s? Or the Austrian Ski Team from the 2006 Winter Olympics? None of these Sports Ministries knew anything of the mass doping, yet in every doping case that concerns Russia, we’re so sure that the Russian Ministry did?
Despite these obvious troubling questions, the entire Russian Track and Field Team were banned from the Summer Olympics last year and, just yesterday, all Russian athletes were banned from the upcoming Winter Olympics. Those Russian athletes deemed “clean” will be allowed to participate under a neutral banner — they won’t be able to officially represent Russia. This is collective punishment that has no precedent. Not even East Germany suffered a blanket ban during the 1960s, 1970s or 1980s.
In contrast, the revelation last year that countless Western sports stars are doped to the gills, and that their respective sporting authorities have for years been providing them with quasi-secretive and ethically dubious ‘exemptions’ to cover their doping practices, made hardly a dent in their reputations, their wallets, and their continued involvement in sports.
The man who sold his soul
So, how did we get here?
As is now a familiar pattern when it comes to sanctioning Russia in toto based on the testimony of one shady character, the banning of Russia from sporting events stems from the claims made by one Grigory Rodchenkov. He fled Russia in 2015 to (where else?) the USA, where he spilled the beans on an alleged doping program during the 2014 winter Olympics in Sochi.
The strange thing is that Rodchenkov has been accusing others of what he himself has done in the most egregious way.
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