The 2020 Olympics are coming up fast, or at least that’s how it seems. Athletes around the world have been training for years, and it is high time for another round of world games. However, in Russia, athletes are looking for other countries’ teams to compete on in the upcoming games. This is because, as of December 9, 2019, Russian athletes were banned for four years from competing in all international competitions under the Russian flag. What is the reason for this? It was proven that 111 Russian athletes were using performance-enhancing drugs to compete in previous Olympic games. There was no way to determine precisely how many more athletes had been doping, so Russia as a country was banned.
It all started in 2008 when seven Russian track and field competitors were found to be manipulating their urine samples and were suspended from competing in the Summer Olympics. This raised suspicion and 7,289 blood samples from athletes everywhere were reviewed in search of anything suspicious. A report was released on the samples that were reviewed. It showed that Russia had a much higher number of “suspicious samples.”
As a result of the study, over the next few years, there were allegations made by the Russian Anti-Doping Agency about state-sponsored doping in Russia. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) commissioned an investigation into these claims, and based on their findings, in 2015, WADA suspended the Moscow Anti-Doping Center “from carrying out any WADA related anti-doping activities including all analysis of urine and blood samples.” As a result of this, Russia was banned entirely from the 2016 Olympics.
Russia is also banned from the 2020 Olympics, the 2022 Olympics, the 2022 FIFA World Cup, and the 2024 Olympics. It is still unknown how deep and far back doping runs within the society of Russian athletes, but we know it has been done. If we want clean international competition, Russia cannot be a part of that for the time being. Hopefully, athletes will realize that doping is not worth being banned from competing, and doping in Russia will fade away as the next generation of athletes steps up.