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Russian Fine Over Sochi 2014 Doping Affair Rejected by Canada’s Beckie Scott WADA Athlete Chair


August 11, 2017 – Russia is expected to receive a “large” fine for widespread doping infractions at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics rather than any suspension from the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games (OWG) according to a report by Inside the Games. But some voices, such as Canada’s Beckie Scott, chair of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Athlete Committee, are calling for more than a fine. “I think a fine is a bit of a superficial gesture,” said Scott, winner of an Olympic gold medal in cross-country skiing at Salt Lake City 2002 – read more here.

1 Comments For This Post

  1. Mike Hanna, Alberta, Canada says:

    I think Becky Scott’s position is accurate that fining the Russia sports system for systematic doping is going to be ineffective to prevent continued doping incidents. Suspension of participation of athletes most significantly effects the athletes. I was thinking about how do you hold account ability the organizers who put the doping system in place?

    I have been involved with sports long enough to know there are political, economic, organization, athlete and spectator dimensions of sport. From the idealism of the values of sports – effort, perseverance, fair play and integrity. To the gritty underside of land development deals, kick-backs, fiscal deficits and brand identifies, national pride and personal egos and personal financial gain.

    The challenge of systematic non-compliance – (cheating in this case drug doping) is to hold accountable those who had the power and responsibility to develop effective sport systems and host competitions within the rules. These individual are jointly responsible to prevent, detect and remedy the problem of cheating at the systems level and detection at events. This “joint responsibility” for “clean sports” provides for “lots of finger pointing and blaming” and no action being taken. The people responsible for developing sports system and competitions are also the individual who can initiate or “look the other way” in systemic non-compliance. To tell all athletes at the individual level “Don’t do drugs”, when the system is saying part of gaining access to participation in elite sport is going along with “the program” is naive, simplistic and in the case of “System sponsored” cheating ineffective. We will just find someone else who will, is “The Systems” reply to the individuals who oppose the doping programs.

    In the case of a fine for the Russian Sport system, I think it will likely perceived as “just the cost of doing business”. A Nations’ International sports reputation would appear to have greater both domestic and international political relevance in closed political systems than more open system political systems. Undoubtedly, wrapping international medalists the flag is common to most countries. At the athlete and team level is representing your country dimension is of incredible significance and meaning. I am not diminshing this or the significance to the athletes and coaches achievement at this level in the least. Years of commitment by athletes, coaches, local sport organizers, friends and relatives have all contributed to the achievement of making it to any international sport event or podium.

    At the political, economic and organizational level of internationals sport the impact of systemic non-compliance needs to impact the “old boys club”. At the Olympic level, the “Old Boys” are likely financial independent, hence a fine may be just the cost of my business networking. I think the “access to influence” is the currency at this level of international sport. I think it is at this level that “systematic Doping-related” sanctions should ripple across the international sport organizations.

    Paradoxically, I think that broadcasters, corporate sponsors the likes of Coke, Visa and other Corporations whose logo’s we see flashing across our screens may have more influence, then upset athletes, coaches, parents and local sport supporters. These international organizations financially benefit from associating their brands with the international sports as content or adverting opportunity. These organizations also likely have the influence, capacity and vested interest in being associated with “Clean Sports”. This approach is also actionable by the every viewer who every four years dives in to the “Olympic Experience”. The message and approach is simple. “I want to watch fair sporting competitions” or I’ll binge watch streaming video instead. ”

    With respect a long time local sports participant, community coach, volunteer, and parent.
    Mike Hanna

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