The issue of doping in sports isn’t going away. New designer drugs, along with the next step in the performance-enhancing race – genetic engineering – will remain a huge issue in sports forever. That’s why the International Olympic Committee must take a strong stand and ban all Russian athletes who can’t prove they are clean. The Russian conspiracy hid 643 positive tests over 29 sports from 2011 to 2015. It’s a shame so many clean athletes have been victimized over the years by doping.
Take American 800-meter track star Alysia Montano. She would have medaled in London in 2012 if not for two Russian cheaters, both of whom are facing lifetime bans. “Eight years of my life as a professional runner, and my entire professional career has been a farce, basically,” Montano said recently. (It was a heart-breaking postscript that Montano tripped in the 800 at the U.S. trials this month and lost her bid to go to Rio.)
The penalty for getting caught must be severe. Russia might retaliate by boycotting future events. The IOC’s corporate sponsors may get mad. For once, the IOC needs to look past the bottom line and stand against cheating.