Added: Dadrian Geise - Date: 22.02.2022 05:13 - Views: 25318 - Clicks: 3284
The presence of Russian athletes has raised eyebrows, but finger-pointing from Britain and the US invites dark chuckles. W e will ROC you! Except, apparently not. From the start there has been something seductively slick about the staging of the Russian Olympic Committee, also known as ROC, also known as Russia Not Russia and, increasingly, as just Russia. But that confused response is also a mark of how hard it has been for competing athletes to live in the shadow of this, not to mention a measure of the staggering mismanagement of this entire situation by the International Olympic Committee.
It will of course be tempting to see a kind of Bond-era black and white picture here, systemic Russian chicanery versus the flawed but righteous transparency of the west. Three years ago, on top of all of this, the governing body of Russian athletics faked an alibi for an athlete who had missed a drugs test, leading to this strikingly lenient extra sanction. To repeat: this was the governing body. We will, indeed, ROC you. And yet, there are of course shades of nuance even here. For a start, the tendency of Britain and the US to present themselves as flawlessly clear-sighted, the ultimate guardians of sporting morality, will draw dark chuckles elsewhere.
Would it be tactless to mention British cycling at this point, and the view the rest of the world takes of this medal factory? The bags of urine tossed at the Tour de France?
Russia may be guilty, shameless, and laughably bad at covering its tracks. Plus the urge to attack and disparage individual Russian athletes is misguided. The ROC silver medal that kept Helen Glover and Polly Swann off the podium on Thursday has already led to a shrill response from opportunist politicians, eager to trash whatever was left of the idea of British chivalry in defeat.
What, in all seriousness, are these twentysomething Russian athletes supposed to do here? Refuse to compete? Revolt against despotism? Beg for a harsher ban? The wider point is that Russia is not making a mockery of its ban, as the formulation would have it. The ban mocks itself. This is an act of mendacity and obfuscation. It has put athletes on all sides in a ludicrous, unsustainably awkward position.
The real question is: what led us here? Why are we being subjected to this charade? What is the backstory to this leniency from the IOC via the court of arbitration for sport?
What information, what leverage, what mitigation are Thomas Bach and his colleagues able to see that is not visible to the rest of us? Perhaps one day this will be clear. In the meantime we have the current oddity, a Games that has become to some extent a PR coup for the here but not here Russian state.
Perhaps at this point it is worth remembering the words of Vladimir Putin on being presented with the unvarnished details of Russia doping transgressions. The picture may not be as clear as the usual flag-waggling oppositions might have us believe. But these Games have already given us a little too much laughter in the dark. This article is more than 5 months old.
Barney Ronay in Tokyo. Russian Olympic Committee athletes at the opening ceremony in Tokyo — they are increasingly being referred to simply as Russia at these Games. Reuse this content.Hot russian olympic athletes
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