Monday, November 09, 2015

War on Russian Athletics

War on Russian Athletics

by Stephen Lendman

The Montreal headquartered World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is Western founded and run. Its first president, Dick Pound (1999 - 2007), is a Canadian lawyer and former McGill University chancellor.

John Fahey succeeded him in 2008, a former Australian premier and finance minister. Craig Reedie followed in 2014 and remains president - a former British Olympic Association chairman, currently an International Olympic Committee representative.

Their respective countries are part of Washington’s anti-Russian coalition, irresponsibly bashing Putin’s policies, engaged in lawlessly bombing Syrian infrastructure targets and killing civilians - a war crime far more serious than doping allegations lodged against Russian athletes, along with accusing its top officials, testing labs and security services of coverup.

The allegations have a familiar aroma. Nonexistent “Russian aggression” in Ukraine accusations still resonate, along with current fabricated ones, claiming its airstrikes against terrorists in Syria are killing civilians and hitting hospitals.

Not a shred of evidence corroborates any of the allegations. They persist anyway, supported by scandalous media reports.

Releasing accusations at this time raises obvious suspicions, weeks after Russia declared war on ISIS and other terrorist groups in Syria, a campaign threatening to undermine Washington’s imperial agenda.

Bashing Russia, its officials or athletes won’t stop it. If anything, it’ll be greater encouragement to escalate it. Former WADA president Dick Pound led an alleged 11 month investigation into so-called doping charges. 

He claims athletes’ tests were pre-screened at an unaccredited Russia lab, before sent on to a WADA-approved one. Accredited testing center head Grigory Rodchenko is accused of extorting money from athletes to manipulate samples - Russian sports minister Vitaly Mutko charged with involvement.

Russia’s Federal Biomedical Agency overseeing lab testing said “WADA’s accusations must be proven in court. Otherwise, these are just baseless claims voiced months before the next Games.”

All-Russia Athletic Federation (ARAF) acting head, Vadim Zelechenok, said WADA circumvented established protocol procedures. 

“Any suspension should be discussed at the meeting of the IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations) in November. It should be proven that any violations were the fault of the federation and not individual sportspeople. We should be given a chance to clear our names.”

An IAAF statement said newly elected head Sebastian Coe “has taken the urgent step of seeking approval from his fellow IAAF council members to consider sanctions against the Russian Athletics Federation. These sanctions could include provisional and full suspension and the removal of future IAAF events.”

Mutko called accusations lodged baseless, explaining WADA has no authority to suspend anyone. It can only make recommendations. Russia will release its own statement in short order.

Pound claims “(i)t would be naive in the extreme to conclude that activities on the scale discovered could have occurred without the explicit or tacit approval of Russian governmental authorities.”

He wants Russian athletes barred from the 2016 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Olympics - apparently what WADA’s accusations aim for, likely complicit with Washington - another way to bash Russia irresponsibly.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) alone has authority to bar athletes from competition. Actions this severe are rare. Former Russian Olympian silver medalist Olga Bogoslovskaya called accusations made entirely political. Other Russian athletes and sports officials made similar comments.

Attempting to bar Russia from next year’s Olympic games appears to be what this is all about, another irresponsible act of bashing entirely for political reasons, back-door sanctioning.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at 

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