Russia and Doping


epa05017959 (FILE) A file picture dated 21 February 2014 of the Doping Control Station in the Laura Biathlon Center during the Sochi 2014 Olympic Games in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. On 09 November 2015 an independent commission set up by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) will publish a report on its findings of an investigation into allegations of widespread doping in elite Russian athletes.  EPA/HENDRIK SCHMIDT

A controversial topic these days is Russia and their use of doping. With the Summer Olympics just around the corner, athletes are under a microscope. Unfortunately for Russia, the microscope has been a rather harsh view into the expectations of Russian athletes. Looking at the 2014 results of doping violations, Russia led the way with the majority of doping violations (110). India was close behind with 91 violations in 2014. With that level of violations, is it considered unfair to review the majority of Russian athletes as it appears to be a countrywide accepted process?

Russia has barely kept any athletes in the Olympics as a blanket ban had been considered. Currently over 100 athletes have tested positive for doping and are currently banned. Putin feels that his athletes are being discriminated against as no other country has had such a high count. The appeal process has already started for several athletes that felt they had been unfairly targeted, such as Yuliya Stepanova, who had been a whistle-blower. Currently, any Russian athlete that has been associated with doping and Russia has been banned, which may seem unfair and unjust. For those athletes that have been unfairly banned, one can only hope their appeals are reviewed in a timely manner and get them back on their way to Rio.

File photo dated 23-02-2014 of The Olympic flag flies next to the Russian flag during the Closing Ceremony at the Fisht Olympic Stadium, during the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Monday November 9, 2015. The London 2012 Olympics were "sabotaged" by the "widespread inaction" against Russian athletes with suspicious doping profiles by the IAAF and the Russian federation, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) commission has found. See PA story ATHLETICS Doping. Photo credit should read David Davies/PA Wire.
Photo credit David Davies/PA Wire.

As stated above, India had 91 doping violations in 2014. Are their Olympic qualifying athletes under the same scrutiny as Russia? Belgium had 71 violations, which is still no laughing matter. It will be interesting to see the total count of banned athletes for doping and their home countries.

To dope or not to dope? That shouldn’t even be a question. It’s the Olympics. Take pride in  yourself and your skills.