Doping report: Wada wants Russia banned

According to a report by the World Anti-Doping Agency Wada, Russia has intentionally manipulated doping test results. Its compliance review committee has therefore recommended that Russian athletes be banned from participating in all major sports competitions for four years - an unprecedentedly harsh punitive measure. The final decision is to be made in December. Is a ban justified, and does it make sense?

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Yezhednevny Zhurnal (RU) /

Missiles won't help here

When it comes to sport Russia is dependent on other nations, which is why Moscow isn't reacting with threats as it usually does, Ezhednevny Zhurnal suspects:

“You reproach us for disturbing the world order? Then you're given some idiotic explanation. Well, suck it up, what else can you foreigners do? How do you think you can force us, a sovereign nuclear power, to obey your stupid rules? Oh, you're imposing sanctions, you don't want to talk to us anymore? ... Fine, go ahead. We feel more comfortable in proud solitude anyway. But in sport, where the purpose is to compete together against each other, contact is indispensable. Otherwise it would mean exclusion from international sports. Russia is now being forced into such isolation. And here you can't use the threat: either you play with us or we'll get our nuclear arms ready for action.”

Keskisuomalainen (FI) /

Putin uses elite sport to maintain his power

In Russia sport is used to foster a sick form of nationalism rather than a healthy sense of togetherness, Keskisuomalainen complains:

“Elite sport is the soft power of emotion-based politics that can hold a nation together. At best it creates cohesion and a 'we-feeling'. Many Finns praised President Sauli Niinistö for going to the stadium and rooting for the national football team in major competitions. But in Russia all this has been taken to an unhealthy level. Top sport as a unifying force has been exploited for Putin's power politics and nationalist interests, with no holds barred. State doping destroys everything that is good and valuable in sport.”

Novoye Vremya (UA) /

Cheaters must go

Four-year bans should also be imposed in other spheres, columnist Ivan Yakovyna writes in Novoye Vremya:

“The World Anti-Doping Agency has ruled that the Russian government helps its athletes to bypass doping tests in oder to improve their performance. In other words, rather than trying to identify violations of the law in the Russian Federation, the state does just the opposite - it guides the criminals and covers up for them. It's only logical to ban Russia from participating in important international competitions for four years. This is how everyone should act, not just sports authorities: 'You're stealing? You're cheating? Then go away for the next four years!'”