Punishment too harsh?
Russia is banned from competing in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. This means no fierce rivalry in hockey and no nail-biting skating competitions.
Due to Russia’s alleged doping offences, the International Olympic Committee decided on Dec. 5 Russia will not be allowed to participate in February’s winter Olympics. However, individual athletes are allowed to compete as long as they follow specific rules set out by the IOC and if Russia allows them to go.
I’m sure many Olympic viewers are pleased with the decision. But is the country being penalized for what could happen in 2018? It seems very Minority Report to me.
The IOC could instead fine the nation, take medals away from those found to be doping and impose harsh guidelines leading up to, during and after the games.
Sending a clear message
The IOC recently banned Russia from the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics due to alleged state-sponsored doping.
While devastating to those Russian athletes not doping, the ruling sends a clear message: drugs are unacceptable on the Olympic stage.
Sure, athletes who are doping will likely be caught eventually and justice will be served.
But what about the athlete who comes in second, who worked hard every day to get to the Olympics? The one that did so on skill alone?
Every time a winning athlete is caught doping months or even years later it’s robbing clean athletes of their moment of glory.
I’m sure getting a medal post-competition is still rewarding, but let’s be honest, it’s nothing like winning at the Olympics and standing on the podium.
Hopefully, the 2018 Olympics will mark a critical turning point.