Sun | Jan 21, 2018

The Wright View | IOC’s blow against clean athletes

Published:Tuesday | July 26, 2016 | 12:00 AM

I have long believed that anyone who does evil (breaks the law) and is not seriously mentally deficient works out the cost or benefit of their action(s) before doing the act.

Therefore, I do believe that policemen who kill unarmed citizens here and abroad, whether the events are recorded or not, will continue to do so until every officer who is proven to be guilty of the offence is sentenced to some serious jail time.

In sports, athletes will continue to dope because they know that if caught, they are assured of the complete support of their fellow citizens and that funds will be provided for their fight against conviction by hiring the best legal minds that money can buy.

There is no incentive to stop doping.

In 2012, Russian athletes approached the World Anti-Doping Authority (WADA) with information about systematic doping in their country. No action was taken by WADA.

Later that same year, Darya Pishchainkova confessed to using performance-enhancing substances (PEDs) under the instructions of dope-control authorities to WADA.

WADA passed on that email to the Russian anti-doping authorities.

In 2013, two English journalists, Martha Kelner and Nick Harris, published articles documenting doping, bribery and cover-ups in Russia. Absolutely no action was taken by WADA.

Richard (Dick) Pound, a former head of WADA, investigated the allegations of whistleblowers and confirmed illegal activity in Russia.

Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren also investigated these claims and released a damming report itemising what has been described as "state-sponsored doping".

The IAAF has banned some Russian track and field athletes from the Rio Olympics due to start on the August 5. They appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), and their appeal was dismissed.

The action of CAS gave hope to clean athletes and committed anti-doping experts that, for the first time - at last - all those implicated in bringing sports into disrepute would face serious sanctions.

Our joy was short-lived. In an official report issued on Sunday, the IOC, through its president, Thomas Bach, refused to ban the entire Russian team from the Olympics, passing the buck to individual sport federations.

Then, to add insult to injury, the IOC ruled that "if you have been convicted of doping and served your ban, you can compete in Rio. However, if you have been convicted of doping and served your ban ... and represent Russia, you are not welcome in Rio!"

That edict is blatantly discriminatory and may not withstand a legal challenge, which is almost sure to be announced this week.

There are athletes from many countries around the world, including Jamaica, who may become very anxious about the mindset of a governing body that frowns on athletes with a previous doping ban. The bald fact is that the actions of those who have the responsibility for clean sport have, since the first whistleblower came forward with incontrovertible evidence of widespread doping, shown very little appetite for doing the right thing.

These Olympic Games in Rio this year, beset by unsanitary conditions in and out of the Olympic Village, threats of violence and now the spectre of doped athletes being allowed to compete with clean athletes, will be forever tainted and ALL the results during the Games will be followed by an asterisk.

The Olympic movement is too big and too important to be subject to this uncertainty. My fervent hope is that the Games will be uneventful, but if anything untoward was to happen, there are a few men who will have a lot to answer to and there will be no place to hide.