Russian Athletes Banned From the Tokyo Olympics

Russian athletes who participated in Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic Winter Games. Photo Courtesy of:

Jasmine Castro

The World Anti-Doping Agency made a unanimous decision to ban Russian athletes associated with the doping cover up for four years from any international competitions, including the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. 

The Russian Prime Minister has denied the allegation that the Russian team was involved in a doping cover up, calling it a form of anti-Russian hysteria. 

Mark Gutierrez (12) said, “I think it’s wrong [to ban the Russian athletes] because other countries have done [worse] stuff way above that.”

Along with this ban, Russian sport and government officials are also not allowed to go to the competitions, including the Russian President, Vladmir Putin. The decision by the World Anti-Doping Agency to ban Russian athletes from international competitions can be appealed by Russia up until December 30th. 

Jessica Cruz (12) said, “It was unfortunate [for] those athletes that were stripped . . . [of] their honor [with the ban placed on them] during the Summer Olympics in Tokyo, [which is] unbelievable. However, it’s important to understand that they were under the ‘influence’ [during international competitions] that lead them to have the advantage against other countries. And unfortunately, [this lead to] the decision of banning Russia [from international competitions, which can be] considered an important moment in history. Yet, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it will end there, because there will always be other [ways] for people to cheat. And that is unethical.”

In the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Russian athletes participated in the international competition. Some believe the ban on those Russian athletes affiliated with the scandal should have occurred sooner. This is because they feel those athletes shouldn’t have been allowed to participate. These opinions stem from the fact that the World Anti-Doping Agency took years to place this ban on the athletes when investigations on the doping scandal among the Russian athletes had been confirmed previously. 

Math teacher, Mr. Werdel said, “If it’s a federation thing, [with] their entire committee [being a] part of the cover up, then I think you [should] ban anyone who’s affiliated with that. But if it’s certain sports, like if it was only the swimmers, then they have to look a little deeper. I don’t know too many details on who is banned, if it’s all Russians athletes, then that’s kinda bad. I think [the ban on Russian athletes affiliated with the doping scandal] puts a scare into a lot of other countries to make sure that they’re following the right procedures when it comes to performance enhancing drugs.” 

The ban does not include the Russian athletes who were not a part of the doping scandal. These athletes can compete in international competitions if they compete with a neutral flag and team.

History teacher, Mrs. Stevens said, “I have a strong feeling that most professionals athletes and athletes competing at the Olympic level are engaging in performance-enhancing substances in some way, shape, or form and it just happens to be that the Russians got busted for it. So I don’t know what we need to do about this but we either need to make it completely legal, or get more technical with our testing systems because I feel that many other peoples and nations are flying under the radar and getting away with it.”