How much politics is there in the story about the prohibition for Russian athletes to participate in the Summer Olympics in connection with the alleged use of doping drugs? What conclusions should be drawn from the meldonium saga? Pravda.Ru editor-in-chief Inna Novikova talked about it in an interview with President of the Center for Strategic Communications Dmitry Abzalov.
"The IAAF has disqualified our team, and Russian track-and-field athletes will not take part in the Summer Olympic Games in Rio. Is it a story about sports or politics?"
"This is clearly a political story. Russian athletes performed well after the Sochi Games, in the UK. The doping problems occurred all of a sudden, and it all started with Ukraine. The person, who was dealing solely with the promotion of the Olympic Games became the chairman of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). Then the WADA expanded the list of banned drugs that were not actually doping drugs. Meldonium is not a doping drug. They should have issued a warning before making such a decision. Afterwards, they targeted all this against the Russian team. This is clearly politics that has nothing to do with sports.
"Interestingly, the biggest scandal in the history of WADA was connected with too many positive samples at the World Athletic Championship in the USA. Afterwards, positive samples were found at the NHL and the American Football Federation - one of the most important sports in the United States. Yet, no one was excluded from competitions. All were forgiven and all went to their games and championships.
"In the case of the Russian Federation, the story took a twisted turn. There were documentary flicks shown on German television, but there was no evidence presented whatsoever."
"It was said that athletes were invited to tell stories about the use of doping drugs for money."
"Mind you that there was a criminal case filed against the former head of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency. He went to the USA, where he started telling his stories. Interestingly, they send ready-to-use interviews to the German TV company. The interviews were not edited - they were approved by the author of those flicks. The Germans simply receive the already prepared material. Who added meldonium on the list of banned drugs?
"If we look closely, we will see three most anti-Russian sports officials working against the Russian Federation. Noteworthy, Russia won the right to host the World Cup 2018 in a battle with the UK, and everyone was saying that Russia had bought the votes. Yet, no one recollected the fact that FIFA officials were caught on corruption deals on the American Intercontinental Cup. There should have been adequate decisions made, but they turned a blind eye on everything. Why such a selective approach? It appears that the current scandal with the Russian track-and-field athletes is meant to undermine the World Cup that Russia will be hosting in 2018."
Interviewed by Inna Novikova
Read article on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru