Russian athletes might get banned from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics

Olympics Tennis 2012

I never sat down and watched the documentary Icarus from start to finish, but I’ve seen clips and interviews from it and the whole thing is enough to taint every single Russian athlete, honestly. In 2015, Russian athletes were banned from competing in the 2016 Rio Olympics because the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) found widespread doping, corruption and an entire Russian program devoted to scam international anti-doping agencies. They created cocktails of performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) and masking agents so that the cocktails will not be detected by WADA’s tests. It was super-complicated and it was just a really f–ked up reality, that there were so many athletes getting all doped-up to get a competitive edge. Well guess what? To the surprise of zero people, it looks like Russian athletes are still doping. And Russia might be kicked out of the Tokyo Olympics next year.

WADA said on Monday it had opened compliance proceedings against the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) after examining the vast bank of historical testing data that was finally handed over in January. The news means RUSADA is in danger of being declared non-compliant by WADA a year after a suspension was lifted — which could put increased pressure on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to exclude Russia from the Tokyo Games next year for failing to ensure that its athletes are clean.

Russia will already miss the World Athletics Championships for the second time in a row after the sport’s governing body, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), extended the ban against the country’s athletics federation, the RUSAF, on Monday. The IAAF confirmed the decision four days before the start of the competition in Qatar after hearing a report from its task force overseeing Russia’s reinstatement efforts.

“We are aware of the allegations of manipulation of the data and that an investigation is ongoing,” said Rune Andersen, head of the IAAF task force. The WADA executive committee received a report from its compliance review committee on Monday updating it on the analysis of data from the Moscow laboratory that contained the results of thousands of anti-doping tests undergone by Russian sportsmen and women.

“The ExCo was informed that further investigation … of inconsistencies in Moscow Laboratory data had led WADA to open a formal compliance procedure against RUSADA on 17 September 2019,” WADA said in statement.

[From ABC]

Basically, as Deadspin explains, Russia submitted their data to the IAAF and IAAF was like “did you really delete all of the data which shows that so many Russian athletes are doping?” Yes, they did. I realize this isn’t the biggest “gossip” story in the world, but it’s still fascinating to me, especially because I follow tennis so closely and there’s a lot of talk in the tennis world about which players will make the effort to participate in the Tokyo Olympics. Plus, there are some really good Russian players these days – Daniil Medvedev just made it to the US Open final, Karen Khachanov is a top-ten player, etc – and it would suck so hard if they were caught up in this in any way, and it would also suck so hard if they were doping. Please tell me they’re not “pulling a Maria Sharapova.”

2012 Olympic Games Wimbledon Tennis Finals Aug 4th

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

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13 Responses to “Russian athletes might get banned from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics”

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  1. Rina says:

    Are many athletes coerced into doping by their trainers and governing bodies? If so, that is a shame and waste of their hard work and efforts.

    I need to watch that documentary.

  2. TheOriginalMia says:

    This should be interesting. I wonder if they could compete individually if the Russians are prohibited from competing as a country.

  3. JAC says:

    It’s a very complicated issue, but I doubt Russia is the only country that does that. They probably don’t have the best technology and that’s why they got caught.

  4. Lala11_7 says:

    I’m going to search through my music list so that I can find the iconic duo of Johnny Mathis and Deniece William’s seminal hit song

    “Too much…too little…too late…”

    For some reason…it seems like it would be so appropriate for this situation…

    And yes…I’m old….I just told EVERYBODY I’m old with the above statement…. LOL!

  5. kerwood says:


  6. Patty says:

    They won’t get banned. They’ve been threatening this since Rio. Also, it was the East Germans that had the swimming doping program not the USSR or Russia.

  7. Tw says:

    Maria Sharapova who has lived in the US since kindergarten but is Russian when it benefits her.

  8. Beach Dreams says:

    They’ll probably get to compete in the end (unfortunately).

    On a slightly different note, I think Sharapova was likely doping longer than she claimed. WADA only has resources to keep samples over a 10 year period, and Sharapova just so happened to take meldonium from 2006-2016. I wonder what her given timeline would’ve been if WADA had the ability to keep samples for a greater span of years.

  9. Seri says:

    It feels that the competition is not amongst the athletes but the pharmaceuticals