Doping sanctions: no real punishment for Russia?

Russia will be excluded from the 2021 Olympics in Tokyo and the 2022 Olympics in Beijing for manipulating doping data. But in what counts as a success for Russia, the International Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas), halved the four-year ban imposed by the World Anti-Doping Agency Wada on appeal. In addition, those athletes who were not implicated will be able to compete as neutral contenders - much to the displeasure of observers.

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La Stampa (IT) /

Pure mockery

The Russians are being allowed to take part in the games, but under a different label, sports journalist Giulia Zonca fumes in La Stampa:

“The verdict immediately takes back what it announces: it excludes the national teams from the 2021 Summer Games in Tokyo and the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing, as well as from the 2022 World Cup in Qatar - if Russia qualifies - but then grants the athletes access to all these competitions in a different form. It forbids Russian leaders and rulers from appearing in the stands - and then allows them to be invited anyway. It prohibits official coats of arms and symbols - and then allows creativity to recreate them in alternative ways.”

Le Monde (FR) /

Judgment doesn't go far enough

Just because there has never been a penalty doesn't mean imposing one is enough, Le Monde writes with dissatisfaction:

“The Wada describes the Cas's decision as 'an important moment for clean sport'. ... But the judgment leaves an aftertaste of incompleteness. It doesn't do justice to the grave allegations or really seem to have the potential to sufficiently deter a country that has made fraud its national sport. ... The anti-doping authorities have been given more powers of investigation and sanction in recent years. But this raises the question of to what extent the sports world can and wants to respect the rules of the authorities at all.”