Drug cheats at Rio 2016 are sadly one of the main focuses of these games. Be it the close call that no Russians could compete or the crowd booing Yulia Efimova before a race.
However, the Russians are from the only drug cheats at these games, and I find it unfair that they are being painted as the big bad wolf. The phrase drug cheats is intentionally trying to be associated with the Russians, and I believe this is to protect the self-interest of others.
Where are the boos for Lizzie Armistead who accidentally missed 3 drug tests? Or how about the scandal over the Irish boxer who had to be sent home after missing a test? And let’s not forget Michael Phelps and how even after retiring and a trip to rehab, here he is winning more and more medals.
*Cough cough, definitely 100% clean.*
By painting the Russians as the bad guys, it leaves the rest of us as the suffering good guys. After all, the Russians are easy to blame. After interfering in Syria and their laws on homosexuality, why not assume they’re all drug cheats too?
Yes, you can’t ignore the drug problems Russian sport has, and the ties to its government. However, this does not categorically mean that all the athletes are therefore cheats.
Where is the vendetta against other teams?
The Chinese are caught cheating, so are Americans, Brits, and every other country out there. There’s no way the IOC would consider banning a powerhouse like the US due to their sponsorship deals, even if every single athlete was caught doping.
The Russians are far from the only drug cheats, yet they are the easy ones to blame. Who thinks about the fact that superstars like Bolt and Phelps are most likely doping when you have the whole of the Russian team to be angry at?
Doping is a serious issue at the games, but throwing the threat around of banning a whole team is not the way to solve it. Especially when you know that ban only applies to countries not tied in with the economics of the games.
Where are the other cheats?
What would happen if hypothetically it came clean that the Jamaican government was state sponsoring doping? Then, just like you banned Russian athletes, you’d have to ban Jamaicans.
What’s the issue with this? The most watched part of the whole games is ruined. All those millions of dollars in sponsorship over the 100m final and surrounding Bolt, all gone. You can’t catch drug cheats at Rio 2016 that are worth millions of Dollars.
There is no way in hell the IOC would ever let that happen.
They’ve already lost Asafa Powell and Tyson Gay, along with Justin Gatlin. You think they’ll let this happen to Bolt?
Won’t stopping the Russians stop drug cheats at Rio 2016?
So by saying the Russians are the only bad guys and by issuing bans on their entire team, the IOC makes it look like it is doing something to tackle doping.
However, in reality, they’re not even scratching the surface. Banning entire teams is not feasible and will only kick them in the face if a team like the US finds itself in the same situation.
Drug cheats at Rio 2016 are spread out across every event, and every country. Whether it’s those lining up for the road race, or on the starting blocks in the athletics.
The Russians are most definitely not the cleanest team at Rio 2016, but they are not the only cheats. To label them as the only bad guys, is hypocritical and does not help to make any progress.
So before you think of your team as the good guys, have a think about how many people you’re cheering are cheats just like the Russians. The only difference being, these drug cheats at Rio 2016 haven’t been caught yet.
People like us and the Americans need to get off our high horses about drug cheats. I’m sure the U.S won’t be shouting ‘CHEAT CHEAT’ at Justin Gatlin when he comes home with his new silver medal, will they?