Posts Tagged ‘doping’

Something rotten in the state of the Olympics

August 7, 2016

That trainers in Russia systematically doped athletes they were training is probably true.

That the Russian sports Ministry turned a blind eye to this and even helped athletes escape detection is also highly likely.

That many Russian athletes are guilty of doping is almost certainly true.

That all Russian athletes have doped is almost certainly not true.

image americablog.com

Yet the International Olympic Committee (which is considerably more corrupt than FIFA) and the International Paralympic Committee (not very much cleaner) have decided to inflict a collective punishment on all athletes from Russia. It is quite clearly a “Collective Punishment” .

In times of conflict, Collective Punishment is a war crime and outlawed by the Geneva Convention.

Collective punishment is a form of retaliation whereby a suspected perpetrator’s family members, friends, acquaintances, sect, neighbors or entire ethnic group is targeted. The punished group may often have no direct association with the other individuals or groups, or direct control over their actions. In times of war and armed conflict, collective punishment has resulted in atrocities, and is a violation of the laws of war and the Geneva Conventions. –Wikipedia

The IOC is itself rotten and no matter how widespread doping was in Russia, there is no way in which infliction of a Collective Punishment – which by definition applies to innocents as well as the guilty – can be justified. It creates new innocent victims of IOC oppression.

As if the IOC was not rotten enough and oppressive enough.


 

Bjørndalen – and the “sense of Wow”!

February 9, 2014

Ole Einar Bjørndalen40 years old, 6th consecutive Olympic Games, 20 years of competition at the highest level, 12 Olympic medals, 7 Olympic Golds  (so far), all in the biathlon. Wow! On only the second day of the Sochi games and my “sense of Wow” has been well and truly engaged.

I watched the 10km biathlon sprint yesterday at Sochi and Bjørndalen, in spite of missing one target in the shooting, was strong enough in the skiing sections to win. He was not the favorite since his results this season have not been spectacular and he has generally been considered the veteran in the twilight of his competitive career. Wow!

His Olympics career has been both long and spectacular:

Bjoerndalen Olympics medals (2014-02-09) Wikipedia

Bjoerndalen Olympics medals (2014-02-09) Wikipedia

He still has the chance of winning a few more medals.

BBCNorway’s Ole Einar Bjoerndalen equalled the record for most medals won at the Winter Olympics as the 22nd Games got under way in Sochi, Russia. Bjoerndalen, 40, won the biathlon 10km sprint to take his tally to 12 medals, matching compatriot Bjoern Daehlie. 

Bjoerndalen finished ahead of Austria’s Dominik Landertinger and Czech biathlete Jaroslav Soukup to claim the seventh Olympic gold medal of his career.

“This victory has been a four-year job and it has been many years since I won (an individual gold medal), but life is too short to give up,” said Bjoerndalen. “I think this is one of my most important victories.” The Norwegian will get the chance to break Daehlie’s record in the men’s pursuit on Monday, but he played down comparisons between the pair. “It’s difficult to compare us at this time because Bjorn was some years ago and now we have a lot more disciplines,” he said.

The only faint shadow I perceive is that the achievements at Sochi not be later spoilt by revelations about doping. Whether or not Lasse Viren ever indulged in blood doping, some other Finnish athletes of his day did but it was not illegal at the time (1970’s). The Norwegian ski team in the 1990’s have also been accused of dirty tricks. The intense Alpine skiing events have had their share of rumoursMarit Bjoergen also won a gold yesterday in the skiathlon. She takes asthma medicine and has had dispensation to do so when it contained a banned substance (which is no longer banned upto certain quantities). In any event she has also faced accusations from her peers that her asthma inhaler was performance enhancing. I suppose being able to breathe is performance enhancing. But I thought that Pistorius being allowed to use blades to run in the summer Olympics was ridiculous. Why not allow a javelin thrower with a weak arm to use a “spear-thrower” attachment to his arm?

Usain Bolt generates a sense of Wow and there are no indications that he is anything but “clean”. But so did Ben Johnson generate the same sense of Wow when he won. And even Lance Armstrong. More often than not rumours of dirty tricks have – much later – been found to be true and sometimes banned.

I have a feeling that athletic team directors and doctors are continuously looking for legal performance enhancing methods and it takes a little time before any new methods discovered become widely known, spread and are then banned (like blood doping).  For an armchair spectator like me it is “the sense of Wow” which attracts and captures my imagination. I just hope that my  “sense of Wow” – not just at Bjørndalen’s fantastic achievements are not deflated and destroyed by later revelations of dirty tricks – even if they are not illegal for now. 


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