Home / World / Forbidden of the Winter Olympics, Russia faces the biggest sports crisis since the Soviet era

Forbidden of the Winter Olympics, Russia faces the biggest sports crisis since the Soviet era



In Switzerland, Alexander Zhukov, the chairman of the Russian Olympic Committee, apologized "for the anti-doping rule violations that were committed in our country," although Russian officials have been adamant that the problem was neither systemic nor sanctioned by the government.

President Vladimir V. Putin, the most important voice in the decision, was not immediately heard. Previously he had suggested that competing under anything other than the Russian flag would be "humiliating."

Russia is expected to appeal.

There was also a political aspect to everything, especially with Mr. Putin's re-election campaign. unwind next February, while the games are being held.

Some political analysts predicted that it would have no effect on Mr. Putin's popularity, if he would increase his position, while the president built his current popularity with the idea that he "caused Russia to fall to his knees," ending to the humiliations perceived by the West on the ashes of the Soviet Union.

Other political analysts wondered if the growing scandals involving Russia might not start to resonate. There is the threat of new US sanctions on the hacking of elections, for example, as well as the investigation of Trump's campaign contacts with Moscow and a court case in the Netherlands for the downing of a Malaysian Airlines plane against Ukraine in 2014.

"There are too many suspicious stories in the Kremlin's relations with Europe and the United States," said Aleksandr Morozov, a political analyst and frequent critic of the Kremlin, suggesting that the public would begin to rely less on the Kremlin and Russia's international reputation erode further. "In addition, the Kremlin does not want to investigate any of these scandals and publish its results, neither to its own society nor to the international community."

State media like RT, the Russian government's international television voice, came into contact with overdrive attacking international research as an attempt to degrade Russia, while ignoring questions about whether something was rotten in Russian sports. One of the main state broadcasters immediately announced that it would not show the games.

Therefore, most commentators thought that public anger would probably focus on the international community, again blaming it for unfairly pointing out Russia, and perhaps high-ranking Russian sports officials sanctioned by the IOC, but not at Putin himself.

Aleksandr Zubkov, who leads the federation of Russian bobsledders (and who was expelled for life by the IOC), said that it would be up to individual athletes to decide whether to participate, like Aleksei Kravtsov, the head of the union of skating, according to the Interfax news agency.

Irina A. Avvakumova, a ski jumper, said she was inclined not to go, but would consult her coaches.

"I do not know how other athletes will react, but I was not training for many years to go and not participate in my own country," was quoted by the Tass news agency.

Alexander Tikhonov, a former Soviet biathlete champion and former head of the Russian association, encouraged the athletes to go. "We have to show everyone that we are the best," he was quoted by Championat.com, a sports website. "Competing without the anthem and the flag is not a betrayal, we have to go and give hell to everyone: to the Americans, to the whole world."

On social media, some critics of participating in the games said that the athletes who left should lose their citizenship. Critics of the Olympic ban started a #NoRussiaNoGames account on Instagram. Arguments broke out on Twitter about whether Russians should go neutral. One man suggested that the Olympians could be heroes without winning a single medal by not going, while others responded that going could hit a blow against excessive nationalism.

The television cameras focused on the somber faces of the Russian Olympic hopefuls seeing the announcement made their perspective clear. There was great sympathy for the clean athletes who can now be banned from competing for a Russian boycott.

"This is a very sad story: Russia has many athletes who are suspected of nothing in this story," said Mr. Durnovo, the sports commentator. "These are people with a good reputation, they were never suspicious of anything, why should not they go to the Olympics?"

Russian authorities and sports figures tend to call the issue an extension of the current tensions between the West and Russia on issues such as hacking US elections rather than a question of sporting violations.

"We understand why this happened: this is an echo of political differences," said Dmitry Svishchev, a member of the sports committee of the Parliament and president of the Russian Federation. Curling Federation.

When asked in October about a possible action by the Olympic committee, Putin suggested that it was a US plot and hinted at a boycott if there was a total ban on Russia or an order to compete under a neutral flag. "Either way, it's humiliating for our country," he said.

Investigators found no direct link with Putin in the doping scandal, said Samuel Schmid, the former Swiss president who led the investigation. [19659023] Nineteen Russian athletes competed as neutrals at the London World Championships last summer, but the Olympics are different.

They still resonate internationally as a sporting and political event, although the buildup of scandals may have diminished the global impact of historic games such as the 1972 Soviet victory over the undefeated American men's basketball team.

A Russian film to be released this month celebrates that victory in a strongly nationalistic way. "Americans must be defeated by someone at some point," says the coach. "I thought it was us."

Outside of Russia, the current doping scandal seems to be focused on trying to clean international sports. Russia, professing its innocence, has been trying to describe the struggle as an extension of the tensions of the Cold War in antiquity, when the United States led a boycott of the 1980 Summer Olympic Games in Moscow for its invasion of Afghanistan.

Nearly 70 countries boycotted the games that summer. Russia retaliated by boycotting the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, taking with it about 14 of its allies from the communist bloc.

The Soviet Union initially rejected the Olympics, and then turned them into an arena to demonstrate communist achievements. Systemic doping was part of the formula for some.

After the fall of the Berlin Wall, it was revealed that East Germany, in particular, conducted a large state-sponsored doping program involving 10,000 athletes between 1968 and 1988.

There were suggestions in the way. The East German swimmers did not win a single gold medal at the 1972 Munich Olympics, but they won 11 of the 13 gold medals in Montreal four years later. When American swimmers commented that East German women were the same size as men, they were accused of being losers.

Like the Soviet Union, Putin invested in the Olympic Games as a means to polish Russia's international reputation and its own political fortunes. Its public approval rating had steadily declined before the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

Russian athletes excelled in those games, winning 33 metals, 13 of them gold. A month later, Mr. Putin annexed Crimea and his national approval rating increased to 86 percent and has barely regressed since then.

The I.O.C. now it has retroactively banned 25 Russians who competed in Sochi for doping offenses, stripping them of 11 medals. The investigations continue.

Russia continues to deny many of the allegations raised by Grigory M. Rodchenkov, the whistleblower who fled to the United States in late 2015, blaming him for any doping.

Vitaly Mutko, the former Minister of Sports, whom the Olympic Committee banned for life on Tuesday, also blames Mr. Rodchenkov.

Prior to the announcement, Mr. Mutko, whom Putin promoted to vice premier after the scandal broke, said there was more to life athletics than the Olympics.

"It's not really the end of the world!", Was quoted in an interview with Novaya Gazeta. "Everyone must understand that the world of sports is not just the Olympic Games."

Continue reading the main story


Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *