Mother Russia Lets Children Cheat

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Omar Rashad, Sports Editor

The opening ceremony of the 2016 Summer Olympics was short of 118 Russian athletes last Friday night after Russia was exposed for a state run and state sponsored doping program.

After former Russian anti-doping lab director Grigory Rodchenkov shed light on what Russia was really doing behind the scenes in preparation for past and ongoing Olympics, the International Olympics Committee (IOC) took special interest in meticulously checking all athletes’ test samples. Rodchenkov, now a whistleblower, identified that in the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, he and others covered up the use of performance enhancing drugs and also, “that he did so under orders from the government and with the aid of Russia’s intelligence services” (New York Times).

The IOC became extremely keen in testing athletes and successfully exposed 118 of the 389 Russians expected to participate in the Rio Olympic Games. Under the umbrella of the118 banned participants comes the full Russian Track and Field team, which has been completely banned from the games. The Russian team has not only suffered a great loss because of their doping program, but also now has the smallest Olympic team the country has ever had since 1912. Wishwa Senarath, an incoming junior competing in West’s Water Polo, Wrestling, and Swim Team said, “The fact that the government is providing athletes with PEDs is unethical and the fact that the athletes consented to the drug use is just too untrustworthy.”

To add more salt to the wound, Canadian professor and lawyer, Richard McLaren, exposed Russia in an all too convincing 95-page report, declaring that Russia had been using government supplied PED’s in the 2012 London Summer Olympics and the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. The report appeared to be substantial enough for the International Paralympic Committee as they took action and banned the entire Russian team from the Rio Paralympic Games this year. Despite all the evidence presented to the IOC, the committee refused to ban the entire team and plans to let the remaining 271 athletes continue to partake in the quadrennial games. As a senior on West’s Varsity Tennis Team, Shashank Coorapati said, “Since Russia has been found illegally doping, it is the sole responsibility of the IOC to ban Russia from the 2016 Olympics as all of the other fair teams would be at a total disadvantage.”

The ban on cheating Russian athletes has stunted the Russian Olympic team and further investigation will follow.