The Russian Athletics Scapegoat: A Doping Epidemic

Russia succumbed with reluctant hostility to their embarrassing exile from the Rio Olympics last year, after becoming the subject of vociferous volleys of global condemnation, upon the exposition of their state-sponsored doping programme. However, despite the vehement vilification of Russia’s actions being undoubtedly deserved, it’s exposed a skewed and short-minded naivety and hypocrisy, when it comes to doping in athletics.

After it was shockingly declared that over 1000 athletes had benefited from the scandalous state-sponsored doping programme in Russia, the country was entirely admonished and ostracised from major athletic events. However, despite being stereotyped as the disparaging, depraved and deviant force in athletics, it’s the USA who still lead the Olympic doping statistics and the US, UK and Jamaica have all been implicated in similarly profligate practices, which continuously beleaguer the sport. A fact either unbeknownst or absurdly disregarded by the uninhibited public executioners.

Jamaica, the empirically dominating force on the sprint track, spearheaded by none other than the inviolable, Usain Bolt, had 5 of their top track athletes banned in 2009; inexplicably all for the same stimulant. Angel Heredia, a disgraced ‘steroid expert’, who was at the heart of the BALCO scandal, changed his legal name and was incomprehensibly hired by Usain Bolt, that very same year. Heredia himself even claimed that the Jamaican team had inquired with him, prior to the 2008 Beijing Olympics, over the use of the banned PED Clenbuterol. Heredia, of course, worked with the similarly deprecated chemist coach, Victor Conte, who provided steroids to a number of the elite US national athletics coaches and whole-heartedly claimed that every athlete in the 2008 Beijing 100m final had undergone some form of doping.

Our own eulogised British athletes have similarly evaded outright persecution for their associations with known chemists, known for their ability to administer PED’s designed to evade testing. Mo Farah’s infamous coach, Alberto Salazar, was overtly and inconceivably found carrying a bag of anabolic steroid gels but rigorously denies any wrongdoing. Yet he’s alleged to have micro-dosed his athletes with testosterone during massages and Lauren Fleshman, his own ex-athlete, astoundingly claimed that Salazar urged her to have an ‘impromptu’ asthma attack in front of a doctor, in order to get stronger doses of steroid medication.

Not to mention the flagrant subterfuge in the use of the shrouded and secretive ‘Therapeutic Use Exemptions’ by Team GB, which was staggeringly exposed last year. Warping the illegal into the unethical, the exposition was rapidly admonished as a revenge attack by Russia, rather than acknowledging it’s disconcerting revelations. Bradley Wiggins, received three unfathomable intramuscular injections, each prior to the biggest victories of his career, despite his preposterous claim that he’d never received any injections. He was also forced to deny his association with Team Sky’s similarly besmirched ‘chemist’ doctor, Geert Leinders, who’s since been banned for life for an insurmountable feat of doping infractions.

Olympic time trial silver medallist, Tom Dumoulin, claimed,

“This is not something they do with normal asthmatics, let alone athletes who only have exercise-induced asthma. Apparently Wiggins’s injection also worked for weeks – then in my opinion you should be out of competition for weeks. That thing stinks.” 

Sebastian Coe, president of the IAAF and self-tailored freedom-fighter of fraudulence, righteously proclaimed in his autobiography, that he, “was outspoken on drugs before it became de rigueur,”. However, when Dave Bedford, a fellow member of the IAAF committee, revealed that he explicitly made Lord Coe aware of the Russian cover-ups taking place, specifically in regards to the case of Liliya Shobukhova, who was ordered to pay £360,000 to conceal a positive drug test, the auspicious Coe became remarkably reticent. Coe defiantly refused to face questioning from the select committee in regards to the allegations, claiming he had no new information to offer. Doping is an epidemic that has diseased the sport to its very core.

The fact that the repudiate public, maintain any sceptical disbelief that such dubious transgressions are occurring on home soil, is quite frankly ludicrous. Russia was correctly castigated for their state-sponsored doping programme but it’s simply farcical to suggest that similar agendas haven’t and aren’t taking place on home soil.

Similar cover-ups have already previously been exposed, and the aberrant bare-faced abuse of the TUE system should come under unrelenting scrutiny. Not to mention the perennial near-mythical reappearances of the previously disgraced ‘steroid expert’ doctors. The truth is that the multitudinous extent of doping and cover-ups in athletics is so catastrophically widespread that in actuality, surely none of its key figures are unaware of its global omnipresence.