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Thread: The Politicisation of Sport for Geopolitical Control

  1. #1

    Default The Politicisation of Sport for Geopolitical Control

    The decision of the IAAF - doubtless under intense behind-the-scenes US pressure - to upheld it's ban on all of Russia field and track team for the Rio Olympics using the doping scandal as the excuse, is not only hideously unfair, but deals us to yet another card from the card-shark's deck of the US's Full Spectrum Dominance.

    Russia refuses to bow to American global hegemony in Syria and Iran - and elsewhere - and this is clearly one consequence of that.

    And now that the US has shunted off the corrupt Blatter at FIFA, and the likewise Platini at EUFA, the likely next stop may well be the removal of Russia as the host nation for the 2018 World Cup.

    IAAF upholds ban on Russian athletics ahead of Rio Olympics

    Decision follows investigation into doping scandals

    CBC Sports Posted: Jun 17, 2016 10:20 AM ET Last Updated: Jun 17, 2016 4:29 PM ET





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    The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) is upholding the ban on Russian track and field athletes.
    IAAF president Sebastian Coe announced the decision at a news conference Friday in Vienna, saying several important verification criteria had not been satisfied.
    "Although good progress has been made, the IAAF council was unanimous that RusAF [Russian Athletics Federation] had not met the reinstatement conditions and that Russian athletes could not credibly return to international competition without undermining the confidence of their competitors and the public," Coe said. "As a result, RusAF has not been reinstated to membership of the IAAF at this stage."
    The IAAF council, chaired by Coe, made the decision after receiving a recommendation from a five-person task force, headed by Norway's Rune Andersen, that had been monitoring Russia's reform efforts.
    "For Russian athletes to be reinstated into international competition, RusAF must show that there is now a culture of zero tolerance towards doping in Russian athletics and that RusAF, RUSADA [Russian Anti-Doping Agency], and the public authorities in Russia, working in cooperation, have created an anti-doping infrastructure that is effective in detecting and deterring cheats, and therefore provides reasonable assurance and protection to clean athletes both inside and outside of Russia," Andersen said.
    Andersen also said Russia will most likely be ready for full compliance in 18 to 24 months.
    Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said on Friday that the IAAF's decision was expected, TASS news agency reported. Mutko also said Russia would definitely react to the decision.
    The decision would mean that Russian athletes would remain unable to compete in IAAF-sanctioned events, including next month's European championships in Amsterdam. However, some could still take part in Rio in August if the International Olympic Committee (IOC) makes special dispensation at its summit on June 21.
    The ban was originally enforced in November following a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) report alleging state-sponsored doping. A second report filed Wednesday cited further obstruction and drug-testing violations.
    Exemptions for certain athletes

    The task force in charge of overseeing anti-doping reforms in Russia has recommended that whistleblower Yulia Stepanova be allowed to compete at the Olympics as an independent athlete. Stepanova was banned by the IAAF on February 26, 2013 for two years after abnormalities were found in her biological passport.
    Along with her husband, Vitaly Stepanov, she gave information that led to a broad investigation of doping inside Russia.
    The 800-metre runner has asked to be able to compete at the Olympics, and the IAAF task force recommended she be allowed to because of the "extraordinary contribution" she has made to the anti-doping effort.
    "The truth had to be told but it hasn't been easy," Stepanova told CBC's Adrienne Arsenault.
    "In the bigger picture, what's really important is cheating affects not just Russia but the whole world," Stepanov said to Arsenault.
    Individual Russian athletes not tainted by doping can apply to compete as "neutral athletes," according to the IAAF.
    Coe said his federation, not the IOC, decides who competes in the Olympic track meet.
    Andersen also spoke about the difficulty of picking out who really is a "clean" athlete in Russia.
    "Because the system in Russia has been tainted by doping from the top level down, we cannot trust that what we call `clean' athletes really are clean," Andersen said.
    He said the IAAF has left a "very tiny crack in the door" for Russian athletes to compete at the Olympics as an independent. But they would have to prove they were subject to a reliable drug-testing regime run outside Russia.
    Response to the decision

    The Russian track and field federation is considering an appeal against the IAAF's decision to uphold its ban from international competitions, including the Olympics.
    Asked if an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sports was possible, general secretary Mikhail Butov told The Associated Press that the federation needs time to consider Friday's ruling, but "of course we will use all opportunities to protect the athletes."
    The IOC said it has "taken note" of the IAAF's decision and its executive board will meet by teleconference on Saturday to "discuss the next appropriate steps."
    The IOC has already scheduled a summit of sports leaders next Tuesday to address "the difficult decision between collective responsibility and individual justice."
    Canada's anti-doping agency applauded the IAAF's decision to uphold the ban. Several international track and field federations, including Athletics Canada, reached out to Coe and the IAAF in the lead-up to Friday's decision.
    However, TASS reported that Russian Olympic pole vault champion Yelena Isinbayeva intends to prove in court that the ban is a violation of human rights. Isinbayeva said she is angry that no one is defending her and her team, and that they are being discriminated against by the IAAF and WADA because they are Russian.
    Isinbayeva, who made the statement in May, called the IAAF's decision "a discrimination because of nationality principles."
    Russian President Vladimir Putin has condemned as unfair Friday's decision by the IAAF to uphold a ban on competition for Russian track and field athletes.
    Speaking to foreign media at a late evening round-table on Friday Putin said the IAAF — track's world governing body -- meted out "collective" punishment that has hurt clean athletes.

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    The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.
    Carl Jung - Aion (1951). CW 9, Part II: P.14

  2. #2

    Default The Olympics as a Tool of the New Cold War

    The Olympics as a Tool of the New Cold War

    By Andrei Fomin

    22 July 2016

    http://theduran.com/olympics-tool-new-cold-war/

    http://orientalreview.org/2016/07/21...-new-cold-war/

    The allegations of systematic state organised doping by the Russian authorities are founded on the evidence of three compromised individuals and have been presented in a way that denies Russian athletes their fundamental rights.

    The 6th Fundamental Principle of Olympism (non-discrimination of any kind, including nationality and political opinion) seems to be forgotten long ago. In ancient Greece the competition of best athletes was able to halt a war and serve as a bridge of understanding between two recent foes. But in the twentieth century the Olympics have become a political weapon. Back in 1980 the US and its allies boycotted the games in Moscow as a protest against the Soviet troops that entered Afghanistan at the request of that country’s legitimate government (in contrast, the 1936 Olympics in Nazi Germany were held as usual, to the applause of the “civilised” world).

    On May 8, 2016 the CBS program 60 Minutes aired a broadcast about doping in Russia. The interviews featured recorded conversations between a former staffer with the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA), Vitaly Stepanov, and the ex-director of Russia’s anti-doping laboratory in Moscow, Grigory Rodchenkov. That program was just the fourth instalment in a lengthy series about the alleged existence of a system to support doping in Russian sports.

    A few days later the New York Times published an interview with Rodchenkov. There that former official claims that a state-supported doping program was active at the Sochi Olympics, and that the orders for that program had come almost directly from the Russian president.

    One important fact that escaped most international observers was that a media campaign, which had begun shortly after the 2014 deep freeze in Russian-Western relations, was constructed around the “testimonies” of three Russian citizens who were all interconnected and complicit in a string of doping scandals, and who later left Russia and are trying to make new lives in the West.

    Yulia Stepanova née Rusanova

    A 29-year-old middle-distance runner, Yulia Stepanova, can be seen as the instigator of this scandal. This young athlete’s personal best in global competition was a bronze medal at the European Athletics Indoor Championship in 2011. At the World Championships that same year she placed eighth.

    Stepanova’s career went off the rails in 2013, when the Russian Athletic Federation’s Anti-Doping Commission disqualified her for two years based on “blood fluctuations in her Athlete Biological Passport.” Such fluctuations are considered evidence of doping. All of Stepanova’s results since 2011 have been invalidated. In addition, she had to return the prize money she had won running in professional races in 2011-2012.

    Stepanova, who had been suspended for doping, acted as the primary informant for ARD journalist Hajo Seppelt, who had begun filming a documentary about misconduct in Russian sports. After the release of ARD’s first documentary in December 2014, Stepanova left Russia along with her husband and son. In 2015 she requested political asylum in Canada. Even after her suspension ended in 2015, Stepanova told the WADA Commission (p.142 of the November 2015 WADA Report) that she had tested positive for doping during the Russian Track and Field Championships in Saransk in July 2010 and paid 30,000 rubles (approximately $1,000 USD at that time) to the director of the Russian anti-doping laboratory in Moscow, Gregory Rodchenkov, in exchange for concealing those test results.

    Vitaly Stepanov

    Yulia Stepanova’s husband is Vitaly Stepanov, a former staffer at RUSADA. He had lived and studied in the US since he was 15, but later decided to return to Russia. In 2008, Vitaly Stepanov began working for RUSADA as a doping-control officer. Vitaly met Yulia Rusanova in 2009 at the Russian national championships in Cheboksary.

    Stepanov now claims that he sent a letter to WADA detailing his revelations back in 2010, but never received an answer. In 2011 Stepanov left RUSADA. One fact that deserves attention is that Vitaly has confessed that he was fully aware that his wife was taking banned substances, both while he worked for RUSADA as well as after he left that organisation. Take note that Stepanova’s blood tests went positive starting in 2011 – i.e., from the time that her husband, an anti-doping officer, left RUSADA.

    With a clear conscience, the Stepanovs, now married, accepted prize money from professional races until Yulia was disqualified. Then they no longer had a source of income and the prize money suddenly had to be returned, at which point Vitaly Stepanov sought recourse in foreign journalists, offering to tell them the “truth about Russian sports.” In early June he admitted that WADA had not only helped his family move to America, but had also provided them with $30,000 in financial assistance.

    Gregory Rodchenkov

    And finally, the third figure in the campaign to expose doping in Russian sports – the former head of the Russian anti-doping laboratory in Moscow, Gregory Rodchenkov.

    According to Vitaly Stepanov, he was the man who sold performance-enhancing drugs while helping to hide their traces, and had also come up with the idea of “doped Chivas mouth swishing” (page 50), a technique that transforms men into Olympic champions.

    This 57-year-old native of Moscow is acknowledged to be the best at what he does. He graduated from Moscow State University with a Ph.D. in chemistry and began working at the Moscow anti-doping lab as early as 1985. He later worked in Canada and for Russian petrochemical companies, and in 2005 he became the director of Russia’s national anti-doping laboratory in Moscow.

    In 2013 Marina Rodchenkova – Gregory Rodchenkov’s sister – was found guilty and received a sentence for selling anabolic steroids to athletes. Her brother was also the subject of a criminal investigation into charges that he supplied banned drugs. Threatened with prosecution, Gregory Rodchenkov began to behave oddly and was repeatedly hospitalized and “subjected to a forensic psychiatric examination.” A finding was later submitted to the court, claiming that Rodchenkov suffered from “schizotypal personality disorder,” exacerbated by stress. As a result, all the charges against Rodchenkov were dropped.

    But the most surprising thing was that someone with a “schizotypal personality disorder” and a sister convicted of trafficking in performance-enhancing drugs continued as the director of Russia’s only WADA-accredited anti-doping laboratory. In fact, he held this job during the 2014 Olympics. Rodchenkov was not dismissed until the fall of 2015, after the eruption of the scandal that had been instigated by the broadcaster ARD and the Stepanovs.

    In September 2015 the WADA Commission accused Rodchenkov of intentionally destroying over a thousand samples in order to conceal doping by Russian athletes. He personally denied all the charges, but then resigned and left for the US where he was warmly embraced by filmmaker Bryan Fogel, who was shooting yet another made-to-order documentary about doping in Russia.

    Professor Richard H. McLaren

    As this article is being written, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is studying a report from an “independent Person,” the Canadian professor Richard H. McLaren, who has accused the entire Russian Federation, not just individual athletes, of complicity in the use of performance-enhancing drugs.

    McLaren was quickly summoned to speak with WADA shortly after the NYT published interview with Rodchenkov. The goal was clear: to concoct a “scientific report” by mid-July that would provide the IOC with grounds to ban the Russian team from the Rio Olympics.

    At a press conference on July 18 McLaren himself acknowledged that with a timeline of only 57 days he was unable “to identify any athlete that might have benefited from such manipulation to conceal positive doping tests.”

    WADA’s logic here is clear – they need to avoid any accusations of bias, unprofessionalism, embellishment of facts, or political partisanship. No matter what duplicity and lies are found in the report – it was drafted by an “independent person,” period.

    However, McLaren does not try to hide the fact that the entire report is based on the testimony of a single person – Rodchenkov himself, who is repeatedly presented as a “credible and truthful” source. Of course that man is accused by WADA itself of destroying 1,417 doping tests and faces deportation to Russia for doping-linked crimes, but he saw an opportunity to become a “valuable witness” and “prisoner of conscience” who is being persecuted by the “totalitarian regime” in Russia.

    The advantage enjoyed by this “independent commission” – on the basis of whose report the IOC is deciding the fate of Russia’s Olympic hopefuls – is that its accusations will not be examined in court, nor can the body of evidence be challenged by the lawyers for the accused. Nor is the customary legal presumption of innocence anywhere in evidence.

    It appears from Professor McLaren’s statement that no charges will be brought against any specific Russian athletes. Moreover, they can all compete if they refuse to represent Russia at the Olympics.

    There are obvious reasons for this selectivity. A law professor and longstanding member of the Court of Arbitration for Sport, Professor McClaren knows very well that any charges against specific individuals that are made publicly and result in “legally significant acts” (such as a ban on Olympic participation) can and will be challenged in court, in accordance with international law and on the basis of the presumption of innocence. All the evidence to be used by the prosecution is subject to challenge, and if some fact included in those charges can be interpreted to the defendant’s advantage, then the court is obliged to exclude that fact from the materials at the disposal of the prosecution.

    As a lawyer, McLaren understands all this very well. Hundreds of lawsuits filed by Russian athletes resulting in an unambiguous outcome would not only destroy his reputation and ruin him professionally – they could form the basis of a criminal investigation with obvious grounds for accusing him of intentionally distorting a few facts, which in his eyes can be summarised as follows:

    During the Sochi Olympics, an FSB officer named Evgeny Blokhin switched the doping tests taken from Russian athletes, exchanging them for “clean” urine samples. This agent is said to have possessed a plumbing contractor’s security clearance, allowing him to enter the laboratory. In addition, there are reports that Evgeny Kurdyatsev, – the head of the Registration and Biological Sample Accounting Department – switched the doping tests at night, through a “mouse hole” in the wall (!). Awaiting them in the adjacent building was the man who is now providing “credible evidence” – Gregory Rodchenkov – and some other unnamed individuals, who passed Blokhin the athletes’ clean doping tests to be used to replace the original samples. If the specific gravity of the clean urine did not match the original profile, it was “adapted” using table salt or distilled water.

    But of course the DNA was incompatible! And all of this was going on in the only official, WADA-accredited anti-doping laboratory in Russia!

    How would something like that sound in any court? We have witnesses, but the defence team cannot subject them to cross-examination. We cannot prove that Blokhin is an FSB agent, but we believe it. We do not possess any of the original documents – not a single photograph or affidavit from the official examination – but we have sufficient evidence from a single criminal who has already confessed to his crime. We did not submit the emails provided by Rodchenkov to any experts to be examined, but we assert that the emails are genuine, that all the facts they contain are accurate, and that the names of the senders are correct. We cannot accuse the athletes, so we will accuse and punish the state!

    To be honest, we still do not believe that the Olympic movement has sunk so low as to deprive billions of people of the pleasure of watching the competitions, forgetting about politics and politicians. That would mean waving goodbye to the reputations of the WADA and the IOC and to the global system of sports as a whole.

    Perhaps a solution to the colossal problem of doping is long overdue, but is that answer to be found within the boundaries of only one country, even a great country like Russia? Should we take a moment here and now to dwell upon the multi-volume history of doping scandals in every single country in the world? And in view of these facts that have come to light, is not WADA itself the cornerstone of the existing and far-reaching system to support and cover up athletic doping all over the world?

    In conclusion, we cite below the complete translation of the Russian Olympic Committee’s statement in response to the WADA report:

    “The accusations against Russian sports found in the report by Richard McLaren are so serious that a full investigation is needed, with input from all parties. The Russian Olympic Committee has a policy of zero tolerance and supports the fight against doping. It is ready to provide its full assistance and work together, as needed, with any international organisation.

    We wholeheartedly disagree with Mr. McLaren’s view that the possible banning of hundreds of clean Russian athletes from competition in the Olympic Games is an acceptable ‘unpleasant consequence’ of the charges contained in his report.

    The charges being made are primarily based on statements by Grigory Rodchenkov. This is solely based on testimony from someone who is at the epi-centre of this criminal scheme, which is a blow not only to the careers and fates of a great many clean athletes, but also to the integrity of the entire international Olympic movement.

    Russia has fought against doping and will continue to fight at the state level, steadily stiffening the penalties for any illegal activity of this type and enforcing a precept of inevitable punishment.
    The Russian Olympic Committee fully supports the harshest possible penalties against anyone who either uses banned drugs or encourages their use.

    At the same time, the ROC – acting in full compliance with the Olympic Charter – will always protect the rights of clean athletes. Those who throughout their careers – thanks to relentless training, talent, and willpower – strive to realise their Olympic dreams should not have their futures determined by the unfounded, unsubstantiated accusations and criminal acts of certain individuals. For us this is a matter of principle.”
    The author is the Editor of Oriental Review.
    "There are three sorts of conspiracy: by the people who complain, by the people who write, by the people who take action. There is nothing to fear from the first group, the two others are more dangerous; but the police have to be part of all three,"

    Joseph Fouche

  3. #3

    Default Simple Explanation Why the WADA Report is a Travesty and Why Russia will be Barred From Rio

    Simple Explanation Why the WADA Report is a Travesty and Why Russia will be Barred From Rio

    Alexander Mercouris

    19 July 2016

    http://theduran.com/wada-report-trav...-olympics-rio/

    Reports by WADA lawyer cast doubt on his own report but the Western media reaction suggests that a ban is already decided irrespective of the outcome of the court case in Lausanne.

    McLaren, the Canadian lawyer who drafted the WADA report, has given a very interesting interview to RT. I presume RT is reporting it correctly.

    He admits he did not speak to or question the Russians before writing his report and he also refuses to disclose key parts of his evidence.

    The prosecutor presents his case and then delivers his verdict without disclosing his evidence (which in the circumstances we can be forgiven for wondering whether it even exists) or interviewing the accused, who is thereby denied the right to state his case or respond to the charges brought against him. Yet we are asked to accept McLaren’s report as objective and impartial.

    Unfortunately the probability is that most people in the West will do so. Here in Britain the media has been unbelievably selective in reporting this story. For example they have not reported that Russian athletes have appealed the ban to the Court of Arbitration in Lausanne or their grounds for doing so. Nor have they disclosed that the test samples provided by Russian athletes are now being tested in Britain. Most shocking of all – at least to me – is that they are reporting the WADA demand that the presumption of innocence should no longer apply to Russian athletes without making any adverse comment. On the contrary many support it. I never thought to see or hear such a thing – a fundamental principle blithely set aside without a single voice of protest – but now it is happening, and unfortunately it just goes to show that where Russia and Russians are concerned anything is now possible.

    The failure to report the case in the Court of Arbitration is particularly worrying. It probably means that the decision there is a foregone conclusion and that the case is going to be dismissed. I wonder whether, in the unlikely event the case is successful, the IOC and the IAAF would pay it any attention anyway.
    "There are three sorts of conspiracy: by the people who complain, by the people who write, by the people who take action. There is nothing to fear from the first group, the two others are more dangerous; but the police have to be part of all three,"

    Joseph Fouche

  4. Default

    Nothing new here. The Olympics have always been used as propaganda, and propaganda works best when there is a kernel of truth.

    The media is also gearing up to embarrass Brazil about its environmental standards and infrastructure, probably so they'll hire gringo contractors to fix things and keep the trade imbalances to a minimum when the offshore oil production picks up.

  5. #5

    Default

    True, But it behoves us to point it out anyway.

    Propaganda is such an insidious tool because it sways the great many people who are not knowledgeable about the ways of the world.
    The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.
    Carl Jung - Aion (1951). CW 9, Part II: P.14

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