The Solitaire

Russian Infiltration

The Country-Sponsored Doping Program Leads to Olympic Punishment

The Russian Olympic team underwent a performance enhancing drug epidemic in the 2014 Winter Olympics. The situation looks to be repeating history, since in 1976, East Germany infiltrated Montreal with their own doping regime. The falsities of these drugs shade over natural athlete ability, especially in the world’s most prestigious competition, the Olympic Games.

The country ran a state-sponsored doping program that infiltrated the 2014 Sochi Olympics. After a thorough investigation, the International Olympic Committee concluded that Russia cannot participate in the upcoming 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea due to a violation in drug abuse rules.

“I do think the punishment was fitting,”  government teacher and coach John Cunningham said. “The program has proven to be systemic, touching a variety of amateur and professional sports.”

The country administered the drugs within the drug testing laboratories of the Sochi Olympics. The athletes would undergo their testing, then, in the next room, Russian officials would provide the drugs.

“It is wholly improper for a government to sanction cheating through the delivery and or administering of PEDs [Performance Enhancing Drugs] both endangering the health of the athletes and attempting to circumvent organizational rules to give advantage in sport,” Cunningham said.

Many are in disbelief toward the final decision from the International Olympic Committee. The committee is unchanging, saying the punishment fits the crime.

It shows that the IOC [International Olympic Committee] and other major sports organizations will have some teeth going forward. Individuals are going to attempt to cheat at virtually every endeavor in life, but it can’t be condoned that a country’s government is a party to it.”

— History and Government teacher, John Cunningham said

“It shows that the IOC [International Olympic Committee] and other major sports organizations will have some teeth going forward, “ Cunningham said. “Individuals are going to attempt to cheat at virtually every endeavor in life, but it can’t be condoned that a country’s government is a party to it.”

While the punishment is approved, fans of the Olympic games will feel the loss of Russia. The competition between Russia and the countries of the world is a mark of rivalry.

“I’m a hockey player so it will not be as fun to watch because the US will not have a chance to play Russia,” senior Logan Ritchie said.

Russia is a prime example of how doping affects the sport world. In high school sports, athletes in need of some help within their sport may look to this incident with admiration. Russia was able to infiltrate the Olympic Games and get away with their medals, so, high school students looking for records or championships have a prime example to look up to. The drugs in reach of these students are most likely not the performance enhancing drugs Russia used.

“It is possible for high school students to at times get cheaper products that may endanger their health even more,” said Cunningham. “[They] are more at risk of using over the counter substances that are not approved by the FDA.”

The Russian situation is important for athletes of all levels to understand and fight against these drugs.  

“As an athlete, everyone should be on equal ground and that hard work and not doping is what should make an athlete stand out,” Logan Ritchie said.

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Russian Infiltration