EDITORIAL: Punishment severe enough?

There is an interesting split in opinion about the International Olympic Committee’s decision

There is an interesting split in opinion about the International Olympic Committee’s recent decision to ban the Russian team from the upcoming Winter Games in South Korea.

The IOC made the decision because of Russia’s rampant doping of athletes at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, though Russian President Vladimir Putin continues to deny there was a state-sponsored effort by the home country to cheat.

But the IOC made the ban less impactful by offering the carrot that Russian athletes who prove they are clean will still be able to compete under a neutral flag.

Putin gave his blessing, too, for the country’s athletes to take part in this fashion.

So is it really a ban, or much punishment, if the country’s athletes, who everyone watching will still know are Russian, just can’t wear their team jerseys, wave their flag, and hear their country’s anthem, should they wind up on the podium?

In some ways, it doesn’t feel like enough.

Not when one considers the athletes who had their moments of glory stolen by cheaters.

Medals awarded years after the fact just aren’t the same.

Nor are the opportunities those medals can bring athletes, many of whom often languish in little-recognized sports that are expensive to pursue, with a chance at the limelight only every four years.

Of course, athletes from other countries, including Canada (remember the infamous Ben Johnson?), have been caught doping over the years, but what makes the case of Russia different is the sheer size and scale of the cheating.

Some argue that the IOC has failed to take doping seriously enough for years, so why now?

We say to that, better late than never.

As for allowing Russians to compete if they prove to be clean, that seems only fair in the end.

We shouldn’t punish the innocent.

– Black Press

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

VIDEO: Co-habitating with bears

Maple Ridge is home to a large bear population, and there are tips available to help avoid conflict

TIME IS RUNNING OUT: Readers invited to share wildlife photographs

Aim, snap, shoot, and share your pictures of wildlife in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows to win!

LETTER: All Washington plate owners can’t be Canadian residents

A Maple Ridge man questions presence of U.S. vehicles in the Canada, despite closed borders

Residential real estate market rebounding well: long-time realtor

House prices, sales, and listings in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows are moving on an upward trajectory

Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows are prepared for high Fraser River levels

Peak numbers are expected to be below trigger levels for both cities

B.C. accommodators need phone lines to light up as in-province travel given green light

Travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic have decimated the tourism and hospitality industries

300 Cache Creek residents on evacuation alert due to flood risk as river rises

Heavy rainfall on Canada Day has river rising steadily, threatening 175 properties

Friends, family remember victim of Langley possible triple-homicide fire at memorial

Memorial held for one the of three found dead at a house fire in Langley Meadows last month

Fraser Valley Bandits, CEBL bringing pro sports back later this month

Abbotsford-based basketball team kicks off CEBL Summer Series on July 26

Family and friends mark birthday of teen who died after being discovered in Langley park

Carson Crimeni suffered an apparent drug overdose, his final moments broadcast on social media

First glimpse of Canada’s true COVID-19 infection rate expected mid-July

At least 105,000 Canadians have tested positive for COVID-19 since the coronavirus was identified

Semi and BMW collide on South Surrey highway

At least one person to hospital, both vehicles sustained significant damage

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Most Read