Olympics Hang In The Balance After Years Of Collective Punishment For Clean Athletes

GDR, state plan 14:25: abuse victims on both sides - yet a call for reconciliation has fallen on deaf ears
GDR, state plan 14:25: abuse victims on both sides - yet a call for reconciliation has fallen on deaf ears

Editorial and Olympic essay: why the Russian doping crisis cannot be compared to the bad stuff in Turkey, Kenya or anywhere else. We are looking at a different comparison: State Plan 14:25. Nothing was done about it. IOC leaders must surely know that cannot happen again if the Olympic Movement is to survive. Let the voices of Evgeny Korotyshkin and like minds win the day; let the youth of Russia understand that a price has been paid for rotten, corrupt practices among those running the show; grant the youth of Russia the power to turn round and say to the coach, the doctor, the local official waving a funding cheque in one hand and a syringe in the other: “stick it where the Sun don’t shine”. I’m competing clean – and so is my country

All SwimVortex articles are placed in our archive after five days, the library of content available to subscribers.
Log In Register

Comments

sippy brennan

Craig Lord for IOC President. You nailed it. Amazing article. Thank you for writing this. Nobody has ever said it better.

Craig Lord

Thanks for the kind note, Sippy. (I don’t rate my chances on the job front šŸ™‚

Ger

Would those athletes who have shown themselves to be clean, still be allowed to compete under the Olympic flag in the face of a total ban?

bill Hanratty

important topic. great article.

aswimfan

Hi Sippy,
Just want to let you know that you were such a great swimmer, and you are in my top three female 200 freestyler of all time šŸ™‚

aswimfan

Ger,
how would you create distinction between those who are cleaned and those who are not?
Also, Olympics is only 3 weeks away.
By now, the choice is only either let them all in or total ban.

Craig Lord

That’s to be decided, GER, but it could also be that they will all compete under the Russian flag

Craig Lord

Yes, asf, the idea that FINA could ‘run checks’ on all who much be checked – and the notion that any of that would be meaningful – is farcical. I like your probably unintended and Freudian ‘cleaned’. Just the point.

Graham Wardell

Awesome article Craig, it beggars belief that we can accept what is happening and STILL do nothing about it. What future for the Olympic movement and clean sport without people like you writing about the issues with such clarity, passion and insight? Thank you

commonwombat

Much as I usually hold zero sympathy for sporting officialdom at the highest level; the timing of this release DOES have me feeling that they’re “screwed” whatever way they choose.

Granted, they have to wear a significant quota of the blame for matters reaching this point; but 3 weeks before the peak quadrennial event leaves zero room to find the considered solution this issue requires ….. much as they would so love to “punt it down the road” indefinitely.

Six months, even three months is reasonable but we are left with a “snap” decision being required and whichever way it may go; there realistically is no good or right one, merely the hope that the (most likely) interim decision does not demonstrably do greater harm.

On the question of ‘due process’, I understand both sides of the argument but put this to those considering “not extending it. WILL you be taking the same line when someone close to you is facing serious charges or in sporting terms, someone from your country/team that you follow ?

All that is certain is that international sports, including but not restricted to the Olympics, is at one of its peak crisis points. Doping, whilst a major factor and has major interlinkages, is not all of the story. There are very few intl bodies untouched by governance issues at minumum, corruption at worst.

Which/what can be salvaged ? Whether there is the WILL to do so, and to see the process through, will be the key …. again a question with no definitive answer

Craig Lord

CW – “WILL you be taking the same line when someone close to you is facing serious charges or in sporting terms, someone from your country/team that you follow ?”
Yes, I will (I realise this was put to fans not me the journalist – but that’s my clear: I couldn’t care less where it comes from).
I agree that this is not easy; as you suggest – but no sympathy for those largely responsible for all of this (we’re decades beyond the time that clear lines and decisions could and should have been taken); in some ways this is the best timing – the decision will clearly show us whether they really do believe in ‘zero-tolerance’ or not.

h2tk

While any of us who might play with a straight bat would dearly love the IOC to make the momentous decision (and one that all in the sporting world are screaming out for) to blanket ban, I think they will wring their hands of it by throwing it back to each individual international sporting federation to make a decision on a case-by-case basis. If that happens and it goes back to FINA, then we’re screwed.

But if there is no blanket ban and it gets batted back to each international federation to determine eligibility on a case by case basis, then Iā€™m afraid we can expect FINA to wave the Russian swimmers through with some BS about natural justice.

Craig Lord

Yes, h2tk, we can all forget FINA doing the right thing if the decision is handed to them. And if the decision is handed to them, the IOC will have abdicated its duty and told us all we need to know about ‘zero-tolerance’: in word only, deed – forget it. Round 1 today as CAS decides on the basis of laws that are there to defend the rights of those who cheat not those who don’t; for those who don’t there is no law to lean on, which is why those who don’t cheat might need to consider class action so that their right NOT to compete against people who cheat is upheld. What a mess those who have mishandled the governance of Olympic sport have delivered to generations of hopeful young folk. The Olympic Charter in tatters.

aswimfan

Craig,
That “cleaned” part was truly freudian šŸ™‚

commonwombat

Craig, you might … and so would I, but do you not also acknowledge the capacity of most people to loudly condemn sin on the part of others whilst equivocating/denial when it comes to their own ?

Zero tolerance is such a lovely principle …. in principle but it just never quite works that way when it comes to crime. Either the whole system gets inundated by triviality so as to be unworkable OR it ends up like tax reform “don’t tax you, don’t tax me …… tax that fellow over there !!” and thus corrupted.

IF RUS goes down, as indeed it should, rest assured they will “spill the shit” that so many others don’t want aired. In essence, the liklihood that this WILL bring down the entire edifice is very high.

The Olympic Charter are just words on paper signifying 3 parts of diddly squat. That organisation has always cleaved to & accomodated “powerful elites no matter their politics or creed and has always been “late to the party” on every significant issue be it Nazism, apartheid/race, professionalism, doping OR corruption in its own ranks. In all reality, it’s survival is little more assured than that of its component parts/affiliated federations.

commonwombat

Sorry, should have headed that Craig !

If it sounds like I’m being doom laden, maybe I am but I just don’t see that this issue, on top of the existing governance/corruption issues in many federations, is one where the fall-out can in any way be controlled …. or kept on a “directed track”.

Very few organisations; very few federations and indeed few if any leading sporting nations are likely to emerge without significant damage. Furthermore, the public will inevitably vote with their wallet ,,, and their feet/backsides on seats …. and anyone thinking they can predict THOSE incomes is foolish

Ger

@asf, it’s not for me to create a distinction but the IAAF recently opened the door for “clean” athletes to compete under the Olympic flag. So, if some athletes have satisfied the IAAF and thus deemed eligible to compete, I just wondered if banning Russia en masse would change that.

aswimfan

ger,
IAAF has indeed opened a crack in the door, but so far I have not heard specific mechanism that they are going to implement to accommodate those athletes from Russia who will compete under the flag.

Ger

CAS upholds ban: http://www.bbc.com/sport/olympics/36855244

Craig Lord

Sure CW – shit does accompany truth sometimes… that’s the nature of shine and rain…

Craig Lord

CW – if the bad structures of international federations and governance are ‘significantly damaged’ in the fallout and consequence, that would be a good and long-overdue outcome. They need taking down and rebuilding.

kevin roose

Entry sheets published swim program Olympics …….any article regarding this from SwimVortex?

Craig Lord

Kevin, the links and reference were included here in the article you’re commenting on:
http://www.swimvortex.com/olympics-hang-in-the-balance-after-years-of-collective-punishment-for-clean-athletes/
Little point in discussing those further – they are provisional entry lists that may not be quite like that and they tell us nothing we didn’t already know and have been looking at in our Kings and Queens of consistency series.

kevin roose

ok Craig i would like your opioun on the American relay selections all 6 swimmers picked for all 3 same relays ? is this an oversight by the Americans ?

commonwombat

But what we cannot be certain of is firstly, the will to completely “clean house” – lets face it, there will be precious few “unsullied” parties to come out of this.

Secondly, will there be the requisite CAPACITY to rebuild, be it financial and or expertise ? There’s likely to have to be some tough decisions made as to “how pure” is practicable in many cases.

Thirdly, and most importantly, how much of the public support will have been lost for good ?

Craig Lord

Kevin, I think it more likely to be a statement of confidence – all of those on the lists that are in Rio ONLY for relays must swim at least once, heat or final; all others names for relays but already on the team for individual events don’t fall under the rule designed to control numbers entered only for relays. In general: the US has has the strength to give all named only for relays a swim and make the final. Mistakes happen, of course… so the heats quartets from US and elsewhere must approach heats like a final …

Craig Lord

CW:
The will to completely clean up is indeed questionable – the process and test is underway. Good that it it.
The rebuild will have to be via independent process – and the current crew are not in favour of that – it would need to be forced on them…
A great deal of public support has been lost and more will be lost if they get this wrong…

Leave a comment

Post a comment with your SwimVortex Account. Don't have a SwimVortex Account, Sign Up?

(*) Fields are required!
×