Track and field’s world governing body meets June 17 to decide the fate of Russia’s team, which was suspended last year after a World Anti-Doping Agency investigation revealed a “culture of cheating.”
But the International Olympic Committee should take a real stand against doping and ban Russia from the Rio games entirely. In recent days, there have been chilling reports of state-sponsored doping in Russia’s Olympic program, including switching the urine tests of top Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi.
Yuliya Stepanova, an elite Russian runner, told “60 Minutes” she took steroids for five years under the direction of coaches and doctors. Her husband, Vitaly, who collected blood and urine samples for Russia’s anti-doping program, said it was rife with corruption. On Thursday, a New York Times story confirmed the outrage.
Grigory Rodchenkov, former director of Russia’s anti-doping laboratory, admitted he provided drugs to top Russian athletes at Sochi and switched their tainted urine. Rodchenkov was forced out after the WADA report and fled to L.A., fearing for his life. The Stepanovs did the same. Their honesty shouldn’t go in vain. If the Russians compete, Rio will be a travesty.