Andrew Korybko is a geopolitical analyst and operates One World.
Most of the world remembers the controversy in recent years about Russian athletes allegedly failing to comply with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) policies, but that scandal still continues to this day after the international organization recently threatened that country’s sportspeople with being banned from next year’s Tokyo Olympics on the same basis. The narrative is that there are supposedly “inconsistencies” with the lab data that Russia submitted to prove its adherence to WADA’s regulations, though that storyline is extremely suspect and also reeks of selective enforcement for political reasons.
To explain, it’s illogical that Russian athletes would continue to use banned substances after the agency globally humiliated them and the country that they represented several years ago on that basis, nor would their coaches and those responsible for them allow “inconsistent” lab results to be given to that international sports body if that was still the case (though it was always questionable to begin with the first time around whether there were actually any violations or not). Every stakeholder therefore has a self-interested reason in ensuring that the testing process proceeds smoothly and without incident, not to cheat the rules while under scrutiny.
Another valid point to make is that other countries’ athletes use questionable medi cation to treat certain health symptoms that might have actually given them an unfair advantage during competitions. For instance, RT reported last year on how Swedish media alleged that “70 percent of Norwegian medals in Olympic skiing events were won by athletes diagnosed with asthma”, yet those athletes aren’t under WADA’s microscope like Russia’s are. Quite clearly, the agency is only selectively enforcing its standards for what can only be presumed to be political reasons related to the New Cold War.
Russia is one of the US’ chief geopolitical adversaries across the world, and Washington is weaponizing all means at its disposal to wage a Hybrid War against Moscow, one that transcends the traditional definition of war to include intangible and unquantifiable aspects such as the degrading of national dignity. Understanding this, it makes sense why WADA is threatening Russian athletes, since that’s intended to damage their country’s dignity on the world stage as punishment for their government refusing to submit to the US’ foreign policy diktats. As a result, all Russians might be made to suffer.
This strategy isn’t just being carried out for the sake of schadenfreude, but as part of a far-fetched plan to decrease the population’s support of their government. The theory goes that average Russians might eventually be misguided by a forthcoming US-backed infowar campaign to somehow blame their government for this humiliation, which could contribute to increasing anti-government sentiment and then indirectly influence their political preferences in 2024 after President Putin’s final term ends. That idea might sound attractive in Washington think tanks and the halls of Langley, but it’s completely unrealistic in practice.
A supposedly apolitical international organization punishing a population for the disagreements that their government has with another violates all morality and exposes that said body for what it truly would be in that scenario, which is an American proxy organization being weaponized for Hybrid War ends. It doesn’t matter that the consequences of such a decision wouldn’t have any effect on political stability in Russia, but just that it would be very cruel to do to ordinary people who more often than not could care less about international politics and are more interested in patriotically rooting for their country’s team as they compete in Tokyo.
The Olympics are supposed to bring the world together for a few weeks by allowing everyone’s athletes to bask in glory that they deserve for being the best of the best selected to compete in this prestigious event, provided that they earned their place fairly. Singling out Russians for alleged “inconsistencies” while ignoring the much more credible case of Norwegians gaming the system — to say nothing of transsexuals now being allowed to participate, even without undergoing gender reassignment surgery — is a travesty of everything that the Olympics are supposed to stand for and actually degrades the international community’s dignity most of all.