In the morning at around 11am the governing body of Track and Field, the International Association of Athletics Federations, will announce if Russia’s track and field team will be barred from the Olympics this summer at the Rio Games. This is in response to the doping issue within the country in the past Olympic Games, however, is this fair to every athlete I ask you?
You must ask yourself what is being considered here by this decision. This decision will effect the careers, there image, and there reputation in athletics forever. This decision in will even athletes without past drug violations. These are clean men and woman, who give there all for the sport.
Although in December 2014, German broadcaster released a documentary that said the Russian government had helped procure drugs for athletes and cover up positive test results. As well as WADA reported on such issue. So yes, the issue is what it is. However, this does not mean that every athlete at the previous Games, and currently training in Russia and for Russian trials are part of this system. In fact, many are not.
Yes, around eight members of the team as well as the coaches have cheated. Lifetime ban for them is fair. But, many clean champions will be neglected there deserved chance to compete. Champions like Sergey Shubenkov who won gold in the world games in the men’s 110-meter hurdles and Mariya Kuchina in the women’s high jump, both have never failed a test. One of Russia’s highest-profile track athlete, Yelena Isinbaeva, who won pole vault gold in 2004 and 2008 has also never failed a test.
This is why the IAAF has adopted an unprecedented decision. In essence, athletes liek Sergey, Yelena, or Mariya have been punished for nothing. May they not claim to be the best athlete in the world?
This ban also violates the human rights of the athlete, all of the Russia’s young, clean, talented athletes deserve and are entitled to compete.
If this ban is taken under place, four years is very far away. That could be an end to the current clean athletes careers. Careers such Yelena Isinbaeva who could be on route to winning a third gold medal. However, you are asking her, and the other athletes to pay for the mistakes and fraud of others.
Sports minister Vitaly Mutko, has made strides within Russian track and field. He stated that “Despite the fact we’ve created a serious anti-doping system, that we’ve created it according to the template of international organisations, Putin has tasked us with doing everything and taking all necessary measures in cooperation with international organisations to create a system that will be trusted by the world.”
A new law to punish and make a criminal offense is set for 2017 to make it a serious offense to participate in doping in Russia. An even higher crime for the coaches as well as the officials who cover it up. The Russian anti-doping community is improving the approach that has been employed to date; and, above all, the resources that are attributed to it.
Doping isn’t just a Russian problem. Athlete’s from America and lots of other countries have failed tests and have been at fault of corruption only to come back and compete two years later, even months for certain athletes. It is unprecedented that only Russia is facing the threat of being totally banned. It’s discrimination.
Countries such as China, Ukraine, Turkey, Belarus, and even Jamaica and the United States needs to be fully investigated as they are the highest ranking countries home to the most banned athletes on the IAAF list.
To ban innocent and not connected to that doping scandal athletes from competing in international events and Olympic Games in Rio is not fair. The right of any athlete who has never violated any of the existing rules to perform at the Olympic Games is inviolable. Russia deserves its place at the Rio Olympic Games and I hope for the wisdom of the leaders of the IAAF.