For the first time in the history of the modern Olympic Games the entire track and field team of a nation has been eliminated from competition. As the Financial Times of London reported,
“Russia has become the first country in sporting history to have its athletics team banned from an Olympics for drugs offenses … after failing to prove that the national doping regime could ensure athletes were clean from performance enhancing drugs.”
What the IOC actually found was that it wasn’t just that the Russian government could not ensure that its team would be clear of performance-enhancing drugs, instead there is the open accusation that the government itself wanted the athletes to have these drugs and furthermore, that the nation’s spy actively were involved in an effort to try to get as many athletes as possible to get competitive benefit through the use of performance-enhancing drugs.
It all points to a return for Russia to the kind of Cold War footing that was the reality for so much of the second half of the 20th century.[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/270533656″ params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]