Enhancement Drugs at The Olympics - A View By The Moderate Voice

When you want to ruin a perfectly good trail mix, you toss in a handful of banana chips. When you want to ruin a perfectly good sports exhibition, you toss in a sample-sized cup of steroid-tainted urine.
Should we back up? Let’s back up. We’re talking about doping — a practice that continues to persist, even in a world that can no longer keep secrets. We’ve had the displeasure of seeing some of our most treasured athletes succumb — including Lance Armstrong, whose career more-or-less imploded after it was discovered that he had engaged in doping and had conspired to cover it up.
But one would hope that a high-stakes sports exhibition like the Summer Olympics — a time-honored celebration of international cooperation and friendly competition — would be a sacred place, safe from the inky shadow of foul play and the scent of tainted urine.
However, if one believed that, one would come away disappointed.
A World Leader in Dishonesty
Let’s start with Russia. Russia’s track and field team has been summarily banned from the upcoming Rio Olympics — the first such sanction in many decades. The last time a similar penalty was levied against an entire nation’s sports team, the year was 1960, and the nation was East Germany.
So what’s happening with Russia? It began with reports published by the World Anti-Doping Agency, which alleged that a far-reaching and state-sanctioned doping scheme had undermined the results of the 2008, 2012 and 2014 Games. But while the specter of doubt has hung over Putin’s Russia for many years, it was only in the last seven months or so that things took a darker and more decisive turn.
When the dust finally settled, we were left with a handful of shameful details:
• Russian athletes had been provided with a three-drug cocktail, complete with liquor chasers.
• The Russian Federal Security Force was found to have made a habit of threatening or blackmailing drug testers.
• Russia had apparently successfully enlisted the assistance of some of the less honest authorities to manipulate tests by swapping out tainted urine and destroying other urine samples entirely.
Like so much else that goes on in the upper echelons of Russian leadership, Russia’s efforts in these most recent Olympic Games is half bluster and half smoke and mirrors.

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