The Winter Olympics concluded with two Russian athletes testing positive for banned substances. But the doping would have made little sense in terms of gaining a competitive edge, leading Rick Sterling to wonder who benefits?
By Rick Sterling
Viewers of the 2018 Winter Olympics were offered a constant reminder of Russia’s supposed deviousness with the “OAR” – or Olympic Athlete from Russia – designation that Russian athletes competed under as a punishment for doping. The image of Russia being penalized for cheating fit in neatly with ongoing geopolitical narratives of Russia being blamed for election meddling in the United States and military aggression in Ukraine.
President Vladimir Putin had claimed earlier that the U.S. invented the doping allegations in an attempt to influence Russia’s March 18 presidential election, a position reiterated by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov who claimed that the U.S. had used its influence within the International Olympic Committee to “orchestrate the doping scandal.”
But despite these Russian claims, the image of Russia as a cheater were were re-confirmed at the close of the Olympic Games when two additional Russians were caught using banned substances.
Yet, there is something very fishy about the Anti Doping Rule Violations (ADRVs) pinned on the Russian curler and Russian bobsledder during the final week of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.
It defies logic that an athlete would do a one-time consumption of a chemical that is of no value in circumstances where it is almost certain to be detected with huge negative consequences.
That is precisely the situation. The Russian Mixed Curling bronze medal winner, Alexander Krushelnitsky, had to forfeit his medal, plus that of his partner wife, because traces of meldonium were found in his urine sample. He had previously tested clean. Meldonium is a medication which helps keep the heart healthy by increasing blood flow.
That would be of no benefit in a sport like curling which requires accuracy, strategy and focus but is not taxing physically. The “sweeping”…