Russians ‘have cleanest team’ as 271 athletes cleared to compete

Sure, they’re the only country to have bothered to deselect the drug takers.

19 thoughts on “Russians ‘have cleanest team’ as 271 athletes cleared to compete”

  1. I do not see a substantive or material difference between, on the one hand, an athlete being advised by a nutritionist and other experts on dietary intake and, on the other hand, an athlete being advised by a different type of expert on which drugs to take to effect the same performance-enhancing end.

    Drugs are artificial? So’s pasta.

  2. Spot on Edward. Likewise training at altitude to alter blood chemistry, ‘Clean’ sport is a nonsense term where large sums of money can be made, everyone uses a cheat to gain advantage.
    Let them.

  3. Bloke in Wiltshire

    The biggest cheat is athletes in sports that don’t make money being paid by their government to train. That’s why we did so well in London – lots of money was poured into allowing kayakers and rowers to train full time.

    That said, I don’t really care that much about The Olympics. Most of the sports are boring to watch. It’s nice for Mo Farah that he won his race. I’m sure his mum was dead proud and all, but home made cat videos on YouTube are more entertaining than a pack of blokes running around a track for half an hour.

  4. The most convincing reason for drugs control isn’t to make sport “fair” or “natural” but simply to prevent athletes having to get drawn into taking increasingly potent, and potentially dangerous, drugs in order to remain competitive. An arms war over altitude training or government funding doesn’t have the same negatives that an arms war over steroids and growth hormone does.

  5. Russians ‘have cleanest team’

    And Hillary Clinton is the most qualified candidate ever.

    I lost interest in the Olympics when they went pro.

  6. Bloke in Wiltshire


    I think the whole thing just doesn’t work any longer. The Olympics were a big deal as a kid – you didn’t regularly see the best athletes against each other, and any sort of global sporting contest was rare. And that meant you got surprises. Unknowns could have their Cinderella moment.

    They stopped the Eddie the Eagles competing, making it “proper” sport and killed all that. At the same time, the 100m athletes are meeting about once a month in the summer. Everyone knows who is likely to win. And an amateur just can’t compete because the amount of expensive work to produce say, a 100m runner is out of the question.

    I also think that other sports have evolved to keep an audience in a way that say, athletics hasn’t.

  7. MBE, the problem you identify would be self-solving, though: a few FloJos, or weight-lifted with testicles the size of mellons, or female shot-putters who experience menopause at the age of 30 would solve all that.

  8. MBE, the problem you identify would be self-solving

    By which “logic” people would never fight wars, as they are always horrible and as often as not solve nothing.

    If the Olympics were open to drugs, then the death rate would be horrific. EPO has killed dozens already (blood clogged when sleeping usually).

    Imagine the 100m final with them all tanked up on amphetamines on top of testosterone. It would be amusing, but it wouldn’t be sport.

  9. ‘If the Olympics were open to drugs, then the death rate would be horrific.’

    And . . . ? Why should I care?

  10. Chester, has participation in the Olympics ceased to be voluntary?

    Or am I about to be conscripted?

  11. If we banned drugs for being potentialluy dangerous, we should ban heading in football and tackles in gridiron to prevent brain damage

  12. Let’s look at the other side of the coin, and remind ourselves of how well prohibition works generally ….

  13. Your child shows talent in a sport where all the leading contenders take EPO, and a significant proportion of them die in the night as a result of it. Do you encourage or discourage them from making it their profession?

  14. SJW, discourage the use of the dope. Just as i would discourage her from working in a coalmine or becoming a crack addict.

  15. Athletes will generally prefer their sport to impose strict doping controls because it means they have a chance of doing well without having to stick lots of dangerous drugs into their system.

    Sports teams owners will generally prefer their sport to impose salary caps because it means they have a chance of doing well without having to splurge absurd amounts of cash.

    The logic for arms control treaties is not so far removed either.

  16. In many walks of life, people benefit from closing down of a dangerous or expensive “quick route to supremacy” if that path is also available to their rivals and if large-scale use of that path (the “arms race”) will simply neutralise the advantage of everyone else who takes it, while eliminating from contention those who do not.

  17. @ Edward Lud
    Drug-takers are trying to get an *unfair* advantage – the London Marathon used to send out an advice pack which, inter alia, recommended eating pasta the evening before the race, so everyone had the opportunity to gain the benefit thereof (if there was one) which was fair.
    There is a fundamental difference between cheating and playing by the rules.
    There is, obviously, less temptation to cheat in unfashionable sports than in those where cheating can be a “get-rich-quick” option but it is mildly interesting to note that the Russian boxing team is completely unaffected by IOC sanctions alongside a number of sports where skill is far more im,portant than physical strength and/or endurance.

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