(© picture-alliance/dpa)

  Doping

  10 Debates

Tensions have been defused in the doping scandal involving Russian track and field athletes. The World Anti-Doping Agency Wada has announced that Russia's anti-doping agency Rusada will not be suspended again for the time being. This means that Russian athletes will once again be allowed to compete without restrictions in international competitions under their own flag. Which side has had to make the most concessions in the doping row?

Alexander Krushelnitsky, Russian bronze-medallist in curling, has tested positive for the banned heart medication meldonium. The head of the Russian Curling Federation has spoken of sabotage. For commentators the whole thing is a farce.

The International Olympic Committee has banned Russia from the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. Russian athletes who prove that they are clean will be allowed to compete, but without a flag or anthem. Not all journalists agree with the IOC's punishment for the state-organised doping of Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics. For others, however, it provides the occasion for rethinking the Olympics.

The Court of Sports Arbitration (CAS) has lifted the lifetime bans on 28 Russian winter athletes on the grounds of insufficient evidence. Systematic state doping is going unpunished, some commentators complain. Others say the exonerated athletes won't be able to compete at the Pyeongchang Winter Games anyway.

The 28th Olympic Games ended on Sunday evening in Rio de Janeiro, overshadowed by debates about doping and empty stadiums. For some commentators the first Olympics staged in Latin America were a complete success. For others, the Games' image has been further tarnished as a result of the numerous scandals.

The New York Times reported last week on a state-run doping programme for Russian athletes who competed in the Winter Olympics in Sochi in 2014, based on statements made by the former head of Moscow's anti-doping laboratory. Commentators evoke a new form of warfare and call for Russia to be banned from the Summer Games in Rio this August.

Despite the doping scandal the International Olympic Committee has decided not to exclude the entire Russian team from the Olympic Games in Rio. While the track and field athletes are completely banned the individual sport governing bodies will decide whether athletes from other disciplines can still compete. The Russian media are delighted.

Russia's athletes have been banned from the Olympic Games in Rio. The International Court of Arbitration for Sport decided in the last instance, rejecting the appeals of 68 athletes affected by the case. As bitter as the decision is for individual athletes it was inevitable, commentators argue.

After the International Association of Athletics Federations banned Russian track and field athletes from competing in the Rio Olympics because of doping, top IOC officials and the representatives of national associations are convening in Lausanne on Tuesday. It is expected that they will support the decision and perhaps even extend it to other sports. But does the ban punish the real culprits?

Russian tennis player Maria Sharapova tested positive for meldonium at the Australian Open in January. The substance is used in drugs for treating heart disease and has been on doping agency Wada's list of forbidden substances since the start of the year. Commentators say Sharapova's case raises many questions.