Wednesday, November 11, 2015

A Reply to my Question "Should Russia be banned"

I agree with much of what you say.

Having lived in Russia for 10 years, speaking the language fluently (but with a Yorkshire accent), having a Russian wife and British-Russian children and having studied Anthropology, I can say I know just a little about Russia and Russian mentality.

I feel Russia is often made out to be the bad guy, when in fact many others countries are only doing the same ie whether it comes to doping in sport or the state vying for a superior world position. Yes, doping exists here, and, yes, maybe it is on a larger scale than in other countries, but I find it a little hypocritical when many athletes of most other nations are doing the same. But is doping in Russia state sponsored? I have no idea! I doubt, even if it is true, that it would be anything like was the case during the days of East Germany. But who knows? Only those involved really.

Like you basically wrote, sport is used as one way to show a nation's strength, and there is no surprise to find the nuclear nations and other militarily strong nations at the top of the Summer Olympics medal table. 

Due to this, I fully believe there will be cover ups, corruption etc involved to some degree in all the main sporting nations when it comes to high-level sport. I wish this wasn't so, but it seems to be the way of mankind ie do everything to beat others/nations regardless of what means are used. And as such, I can definitely see why athletes would and do cheat: possible stardom and riches beyond what they are used to.
Should Russia be banned? Well, Russia as a nation has been banned twice in the sport of powerlifting, and in the end they were allowed back in as having a world powerlifting championships without Russia is absurd ie they have some of the very strongest athletes here; it would not be worth calling a championships a 'world' championships without Russia being one of the participating nations.

In the end, what is cheating and what isn't cheating? Some people/nations may consider that they are not cheating unless they get caught... that it's all part of the big game of winning and losing.

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