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Saturday, June 18, 2016
Why is the IOC punishing the innocent?

So let’s see if we understand this. Russian pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva, two time Olympic Gold Medal winner and current world record holder, is the greatest woman pole vaulter of all time. She has never tested positive for any banned substance.

Russian high jumper Anna Vladimirovna Chicherova has won the Gold Medal in the last two Olympics. She, too, has never tested positive for any banned substance, though a Russian track coach may have thrown her under the bus during the recent investigation.

Neither of these two high-flyng superb athletes can compete in the Rio Olympics because the IOC, historically one of the most corrupt entities in all of sports, has banned the entire Russian track team from the games because Russian coaches and administrators have been guilty of conspiring to evade the anti-doping regulations for years.

Of course, in my view, and that of 200 or so medical experts, no one should attend the games in Rio this summer because they should either be postponed or moved because of the Zika outbreak.

Still this action by the IOC seems especially broad-brushed. If an athlete tests positive for doping, or admits the transgression, the IOC is within its power to levy an appropriate sanction. But the innocent should not be punished for the crimes of his or her predecessors or higher-ups. If that were the case, the current members of the IOC should be dismissed because their predecessors were found to have taken bribes to award city selection sites.

It is not often I agree with Vladimir Putin but, Comrad, I feel your pain.


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