Russia’s track and field team was barred from participating in the up-coming Olympic Games in Rio due to its collective use of banned performance enhancing drugs last week.
Russian track and field athletes have been suspended from international competition since last fall, after publication of a WADA report accusing the nation of an elaborate government-run doping program.
The International Olympic Committee is meeting today to decide on whether Russia will be banned from attending the events entirely.
Meanwhile, the Russian government has portrayed its athletes as the victims of some kind of massive conspiracy:
And the Kremlin’s Dmitry Peskov reiterated the same sentiments:
Russian MP Vladimir Zhirinovsky suggested that Russia boycott the games all together and hold a separate event in Russia.
By now we’ve all heard about the health and safety warnings surrounding Rio. The World Health Organization is under fire for its failure to take the risks seriously. In the same article from late last month:
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has said it sees no reason to delay or move the Games because of the mosquito-borne disease.
Athletes from all over the world are dropping out of the Games. Others are freezing their sperm in case they acquire Zika while in Rio.
So I can’t help but wonder if the Russian athletes and Sports Minister Mutko aren’t a bit secretly relieved by the recent events.