Five Minutes of Common Sense: WADA might have won the battle, but will lose the war

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August 6, 2016 – 

Ruslan Ostashko, PolitRussia – 

Translated by J. Arnoldski

The hype surrounding the American special operation against Russian athletics has gradually subsided. Now, one can more or less safely say that Russian authorities are going to take revenge on our overseas opponents, especially since the first steps have already been made. 

To start, I would like to once again draw attention to the fact that we and our values are different from Western ones and Westerners, so if it is worth taking revenge at all, then they should be hit where it hurts in accordance with their own values. Hence why I considered and continue to consider proposals to boycott the Olympics nonsense. Our opponents are not hurt by this, but are even pleased by such. After all, their aim is kicking all the Russians out of the Olympics. A boycott would only help them do this. No, my friends, we need to hit our overseas opponents in the place of their honor, conscience, heart and soul: they should take a hit to the wallet. 

This is exactly what they are afraid of. The British The Guardian writes that American sporting officials fear above all that Russian athletes will file suits not at the Arbitration Court for Sports in Lausanne, but in general jurisdiction courts. Suits defending honor, dignity, reputation, and demands for compensating moral and material damages over missing the Olympics promise to raise real hell for American officials. After all, it is in ordinary courts that they will be held responsible for proving their accusations with evidence. No kind of references to “secret witnesses” or machinations of the FSB will help them. What’s more, claims can be presented not only against WADA as an organization, but also specific employees, experts, and lawyers who said so much in there interviews that they can be dragged to court with the aim of gaining enough compensation from them for a lifetime. And compensation can be obtained for a large variety of things, such as for Russian athletes’ losses on advertising contracts.

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The idea of upholding justice in European or American courts might seem foolish or even ridiculous to some, but I would request that we remember that the idea of appealing against a Dutch court’s decision on paying YUKOS shareholders $50 billion also seemed ridiculous. It seemed silly until the moment that Russia’s appeal was approved. Now YUKOS shareholders’ lawyers have withdrawn their lawsuits in Germany and the UK since they’ve realized the futility of further confrontation. I can also recall the recent decision of the Stockholm arbitration court which, in the conflict between Gazprom and Latvia, sided with the Russian company despite European politicians’ support for Lithuania. And the case against Gazprom was also clearly political. We can also recall the Rosatom case against Bulgaria in which the Russian state-owned company won compensation for a cancelled contract for constructing a nuclear power plant which the EU banned. 

We do have successful experience in using foreign institutions and now the most important is correctly using them by giving our athletes and sports federations the best attorney services, and beginning the legal hunt for specific WADA officials. They are afraid of this, which means that this is what we need to do. After the Olympics and the final decision by the sports arbitration in Lausanne, they should expect a series of lawsuits filed by Russian athletes. I will be sure to keep an eye out for this. 

The second important element of our revenge should be depriving WADA of its monopoly over doping control and determining what is and what isn’t doping. It turns out that the Americans are allowed to use their own form of Meldonium, while we can’t. And here appear our conditional, but still very important allies among officials of the IOC and the leaders of numerous sports federations. If we look at the situation from their point of view, then it turns out that they have spent their whole lives climbing up the career ladder and given bribes to take positions in vain only to be the pawns in some American lawyers’ game of assuming the right to decide who will and who won’t participate in the Olympic games. The Americans are taking the main job of IOC officials away from them. And they won’t forgive this. 

Thomas Bach and his friends have already stated that it is time to reform the entire doping control system and, in this sense, he is practically repeating the words of Vladimir Putin who has also demanded similar reform. It may very well be that such will be supported by China and other countries who have seen how easy it is to become a victim of WADA. Let’s not forget that the Americans’ attempt to dismiss the entire Russian team was supported by only 14 countries. This means that a sufficient number of those who support depriving WADA of its current status can be found among the members of the Olympic movement. This will harshly hit at the wallet of the American business which has grown accustomed to getting money for recognizing specific drugs as “white and fluffy.”

American sporting officials already know what’s waiting for them, so they are trying to reverse the situation. Rodchenkov’s letter disappeared from the latest version of WADA’s report and WADA head Craig Reedy has forgotten the former accusations, stating that there is no evidence that the state interfered in the activities of the All-Russian Light Athletics Federation. This is all good, but late. Let what happens to WADA officials serve as a lesson for others. Russians have always known how to settle scores, and not only with weapons. The Americans have to learn this lesson again. 

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