The 2016 Rio Olympics is inching ever closer despite controversies and threats of terrorism. Recently, the International Olympic Committee has decided NOT to ban Russian athletes despite doping allegations.
The committee stated that it’s up to the individual sports’ governing bodies to decide whether to allow Russian athletes to participate. They will also get to decide whether the athletes are taking any performance enhancing drugs.
According to the BBC, this follows after Canadian law professor Richard McLaren reported that Russia operated a state-sponsored doping program. The alleged doping occurred between the period of 2011-2015.
With the 2016 Rio Olympics set to begin on August 5th, Russian athletes who wish to participate will have to meet strict criteria laid out by the IOC. In addition, any athletes who have served a doping ban will not be allowed to participate in next month’s games.
According to The New York Times, the discussion between Vladimir Putin and the committee have been rich with intrigue. Putin suggested that the doping allegations were politically motivated. The Russian president believes it was meant to undermine his country’s standing on the world stage.
It would seem plausible especially that Russia is in hot water after the annexation of the Crimea. The country also got bad press with its recent participation in Syria and Iraq.
The leadership of the Olympics is currently under pressure to ban the Russians for perpetrating one of the largest, and expensive doping operations in history.
This recent decision by the IOC has been riddled with speculations. Many believe that the light punishment for Russia was due to the country going out of its way to host the Sochi Winter Olympics.
In the end, Russia still got a reprieve the Russian flag will still be waved at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Albeit only by some athletes who were able to pass the strict anti-doping measures put in place by the committee.