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Doping Scandal: Putin Plays Strategically Against the Russophobes

The IOC decision to ban WADA-informer Stepanova from the Olympics sends a signal that no traitor will go unpunished

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The IOC’s decision on Russia’s participation in the Olympic games in Rio has caused serious disappointment among Russian patriots, for obvious reasons.

In the last few months, a politically motivated degradation of international sports has reached a pinnacle, in a dying global system’s key institutions, such as the IMF and the UN. Is there any sense in taking part in this spectacle, moreover as a whipping boy?

Russia continues to lobby to be allowed to participate at the Olympic Games in Rio, ignoring dirty tricks and insults. But many see it as weakness when Russia allows others to humiliate her. Slamming the door and refusing to take part in the Olympics would seem a more effective reaction.

The situation is exacerbated by society’s extreme annoyance with the Russian sports bureaucracy. This huge entity, with its army of foot soldiers, continues to live at public expense in a cozy corporate world. They have no intention of changing their expensive, useless habits, while the world around them is falling apart.

Accusations are righteous, but there’s more to it. The main contribution to the IOC’s decision was not made by sports officials, but by the Russian government, including its President, who spoke in person to Thomas Bach and lobbied for Russia’s position. Russian sports managers are absolutely to blame, however the motives of the country’s leader are more difficult to comprehend.

The Kremlin is playing a complex and merciless political game. One cannot blame it for behaving recklessly toward the West, because behind every imaginable and real compromise there’s a strong position. In the case of the Olympics, however, the Russian government position is considered weak by most people.

The first step toward understanding the Kremlin’s motives is to stop thinking of the whole situation as “Russian humiliation”. Humiliation exists only in people’s heads — Nobody but you can humiliate yourself. Moreover, accusations of “humiliation” are made by incompetent couch-potato sports fans and people who are more interested in politics than sports, while the specialists whose opinion should be sought in the first place, are our sportsmen.

If they’re ready to participate in the Olympics and to compete in an unfriendly atmosphere with prejudiced judges and chances of provocations (you can expect all of those in Rio), then it’s their choice to make. If this is not humiliating, but rather a challenge for them, and if they’re ready to take on this challenge, then we have to be proud of them and support them in every way.

As for the position of the Kremlin, experience shows that there’s little to no emotional content to its decisions. To understand its motives and goals, you have to consider the situation impartially. Why does the Kremlin insist so stubbornly for the Russian team to be at the Olympic Games?

For at least three obvious reasons:

First, Russia cannot refuse to take part in the Olympics due to a fundamental principle of Russian foreign policy: Russia does not destroy anything. The world is falling apart, but Russia is in no way contributing to this process, rather it is trying to slow it down.

This is not a public relations position, but a real one. When the world is headed toward, terrible times, we need time to prepare ourselves. That is why the more time Russia wins now, the better. Door-slamming on the Olympics would only accelerate the destructive process, and Russia doesn’t need this.

The second reason is that Russia is actively trying forge partnerships all around the world in order to protect its people. The world sees how, from an unequal position and under constant harsh attacks, Russia fiercely protects her sportsmen. The Russian position is that as long as she’s able to stand, she will use every means in favor of her citizens. A bold, seemingly trivial move that shows great strength.

The third and probably the main reason is that Russia is showing the entire world that it can play and win even under such unjust conditions. Yesterday, the Daily Mail trumpeted all over the world that the IOC would surely ban Russia from participating in the upcoming Olympic Games and possibly even from the following Winter Olympic Games, but today the IOC decided in Russia’s favor.

True enough, our “partners” control the WADA and the IAAF, which issued the harsh anti-Russian resolutions. But Russia successfully brought in the IOC on her side and probably the majority of other sports organizations. No doubt there will soon be a powerful conspiracy-story in the western media about how Putin in person bought / intimidated the IOC to vote in favor of Russia.

By the way, the truly offending decision of the IOC on banning WADA-informer Yulia Stepanova from taking part at the Olympics reversing the IAAF and allowing her to come to Rio as a guest only, really looks like a transparent hint from the Kremlin, that our arm is long enough to get a hold of a traitor anywhere.

Source: Na Linii
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