The report from WADA on Monday has reverberations around the world. Hundreds of athletes who competed against Russian athletes wonder if they lost medals to cheaters. How will Russian media respond? Will the current winter chill between the West and Russia only be accerbated by Mr. Pounds assertions?
The old Soviet bloc system has been well known since the early 1950s. The doping accusations make sense in light of the cold war, and the concept that sports was a global stage for Marxism. The athlete from a Soviet bloc country who did well was a daily reminder of the superiority of the Soviet culture. Sports became the new global quasi religion. With the interest in the Olympics, and money in sports, any means that gave the Soviet athlete the world stage made sense and could be, by some, justified.
But, as Mr. Pound noted, this is not a problem isolated to Russia, nor to the sport of athletics. The over valuing of sports, the money in sports and the cult of personality around sports culture are also to blame. “We all have a part in this,” noted one of my keen observers.
128,000 tweets on the Russian doping crisis were recorded today on twitter.com.
NEWS FROM RUSSIA
MOSCOW (RUS): All-Russian athletics federation published official press release in reaction to WADA report. “New ARAF and national team leadership have focused on the development of preventive measures in fight against doping. We actively cooperate with the RUSADA anti-doping educational programs for different categories of athletes and coaches. ARAF strictly prohibits any violations of anti-doping rules by athletes, coaches or specialists working in athletics. In August, our federation took the unprecedented decision to exclude race walkers from national team at the World championships, regardless of their previous achievements. Some coaches were discharged and some specialists are still under investigation. We ban doping cheaters, regardless of previous titles and results. Very soon ARAF will prepare to the IAAF document, which will include a program of ARAF anti-doping activities, steps for its implementation as well as its response to the findings and conclusions of the WADA independent commission. We are ready for serious strategic partnership with the IAAF, including ways to overcome existing problems in Russian and world athletics. Real honest partnership in this work is much more effective than any detachment and isolation,” says Rusathletics.com.
MOSCOW (RUS): Russian President’s press secretary Dmitriy Peskov said that he has nothing to add in the current situation. “WADA report isn’t in the Kremlin agenda,” said Peskov to Russian journalists.
MOSCOW (RUS): “We’ll not solve doping problem just by isolation of Russia or disqualification of one of sports. We can overcome this problem only altogether,” declared Russian sport minister Vitaliy Mutko quoted by First TV channel. He also has rejected WADA commission’s accusations that he knew about systematic doping used by Russian athletes. RUSADA also considers all charges to Mutko as illogical.
MOSCOW (RUS): Coach Vladimir Kazarin rejected WADA accusations concerning doping rules violation by 800 m London Olympic champion Mariya Savinova-Farnosova. “We didn’t pay any money and used only legal medicines. Nobody accused Mariya before ARD film. She has many negative doping tests without any requisite to be “dirty”,” said coach in his quote to Sport-Express. He confirmed that Mariya is preparing for next season now and, certainly, she would like to perform at Rio Olympics after the maternity break.
MOSCOW (RUS): Triple jump World indoor and European indoor champion Yekaterina Koneva missed two doping tests and received two ‘red flags’ from WADA. 27-year-old Russian and her coach Aleksandr Tsyplakov assured that they always informed WADA through ADAMS system about any changes in trips and trainings schedule in time but doping-officers have been followed old one. “This situation has bad influence on my preparation for next season. I hope WADA will go over my situation again and consider the issue of the legitimacy of ‘red flags’ I have got,” said Koneva to All-Sport news agency.