If antidoping officials have their way, Russia will be completely barred from the upcoming Rio Olympics.
According to Rebecca R. Ruiz of The New York Times, antidoping officials from at least 10 nations — including the United States (and 20 athlete groups) — are in the process of requesting the entire Russian Olympic team be barred from the games over the ongoing alleged state-sponsored doping program controversy. According to Ruiz, the groups were expected to pressure Olympics leaders “as soon as Monday,” as they waited for results of an ongoing investigation.
“It seems very likely that the Report will confirm what will be one of the biggest doping scandals in history, implicating the Russian Government in a massive conspiracy against the clean athletes of the world,” wrote Joseph de Pencier, the chief executive of the national antidoping trade association. “This will be a ‘watershed moment’ for clean sport.”
The Times reported back in May that a Russian doctor revealed he was ordered to cover up the use of performance-enhancing drugs by “dozens” of Olympians from the 2014 Sochi Games on government orders. Russia has denied government involvement. The report confirmed what Russian runner Yuliya Stepanova revealed when she served as a whistleblower for the scandal in 2014. The entire Russian track and field team has since been suspended by the I.A.A.F for the Rio Olympics due to the scandal.
With the Rio 2016 just under three weeks away, a ban would be the biggest doping scandal in Olympic history. If it does happen, the choice of those who took part in cheating in 2014 will affect those who were, and are, clean now. That may seem unfair, but considering how widespread the doping is alleged to be, it would be a completely rational decision if proven true.
The Rio Olympics continue to shape up poorly. The Olympics begin on August 5.