Will the Russians be in South Korea?
Just in case you have forgotten, it seems the Russian Olympic team may have been banned from competing in the 2018 South Korea Olympics. This little nugget of news may have been forgotten by some Russian National Hockey League players who are unhappy that the league owners have decided against participating in the February event. The International Olympic Committee and the World Anti-Doping Agency were at odds over whether Russia should have competed in the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics. Russia did participate with the IOC’s backing after WADA suggested a ban. The Russian doping scheme is still being discussed by the International Olympic Committee. World Anti-Doping Agency President Sir Craig Reedie seemingly has done and about face and is against banning the Russian team from the 2018 South Korean Games. Switzerland’s Patrick Baumann said the National Anti-Doping Organization members including the United States and Britain, did not have the “moral ground” to push for banning the Russian team.
And there was more. The International Ice Hockey Federation President Rene Fasel wants the Russians in the South Korea Games. The WADA turnabout is odd. In 2016, World Anti-Doping Agency investigator Richard McLaren along with his associates looked into claims of systematic doping by Russian athletes in both the 2012 London and 2014 Sochi Games. McLaren alleged that there was a conspiracy which involved the Russian Sports Ministry, national anti-doping agency and the FSB intelligence service, providing further proof of state involvement in a massive program of cheating and cover-ups. “It is impossible to know just how deep and how far back this conspiracy goes,” McLaren told reporters. “For years, international sports competitions have unknowingly been hijacked by Russians. Coaches and athletes have been playing on an uneven field. Sports fans and spectators have been deceived. It’s time that this stops.” But WADA is now discrediting some of McLauren’s findings. The Russians are coming.