Olympic Update: IOC Simply Dropped The Ball Regarding Russia

Doping scandal ruling on Sunday did not include total ban of entire Russian team

Instead, according to ESPN, NBCSports.com and other verified sources–each individual governing body will decide which sports Russia can send to Rio and which ones will not.

On Monday afternoon, FINA advised the seven Russian athletes in swimming that they will not be going to Brazil next week.  The report also stated that three of the athletes will undergo further testing to see how the drugs have altered their bodies over time.

My take on this is simple…

The IOC should have acted like National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell.

Throw the book at them!  If we had that type of power in Switzerland, more swifter punishment would have been calling for the entire Russian Federation.  Nothing short of a total ban on every athlete that cheated, while the only ones that were given clean bills of health would be allowed to travel to Brazil.

This doping scandal has rocked to the very core the essence of why we like sports.

Sports are meant to be played in a clean, proper environment.

For the first time since the first reports from then ABC Sports during the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, when the former athletes representing East Germany were later found to have drugged up during the swimming and weightlifting competitions to get a competitive edge–it is really sad and appalling that this had to happen.

Bottom line, the facts are the facts.  I should be talking more about Usain Bolt against the United States’ best hopes on the track to be crowned as “the world’s Fastest Man” or the battle in the swimming pool with Michael Phelps vs. Ryan Lochte, et. al.  And, what about the curiosity of the usually wild and crazy Sambadrome hosting one of the quietest events in any Olympic Games and that is archery?

I am pretty sure everyone at NBC Sports will be keeping close tabs on this very sore subject, starting with Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira using their vast news experience to tell Americans the real story (hopefully) during the tape delay broadcast of the Opening Ceremony.

And yes, I heard from some people scattered about in Chicago, the city where they lost their golden chance to host in that stunning October 2009 vote.

No question about it, then Mayor Richard M. Daley or even current Mayor Rahm Emanuel would not have dealt with most of the key problems that have been plaguing Brazil.  Sure, crime would have been an issue–especially in the areas of the suddenly budging West Side and the area along the South Side when President Obama chose some park that would have become the 70,000 plus seat stadium to take the place of Soldier Field for the Opening Ceremony.

Lake Michigan would have had only minor water issues for rowing and sailing, but the crowds would have been too huge at either Oak Street or the mega-popular North Avenue Beach for beach volleyball.  And even their neighbors to the east in Indiana would have chipped in a bit, with legendary Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend that was slated to host the first events on Wednesday, August 3 with soccer in the Eastern Time Zone.  I guess we will all have to wait another day for tourists from other parts of the globe to grab the exact change needed on I-90 to advance their rental cars on the very expensive Indiana Toll Road.

And yes, gridlock on the streets and the CTA rail system, let alone the major expressways that funnel into the Loop–like the Dan Ryan that filters into the Kennedy Expressway (I-94), the Eisenhower Expressway (I-294) going west, or the Steven Expressway (I-55) heading south towards Midway Airport would have made daily living a bit perplexing.

However, in a way–if you ask most people in Chicago, they would probably tell you,

“We are sooooooooooooooo glad it is not us hosting the Summer Olympics.”

The history books will tell us that Rio won the bid because of their then bustling economy and it is the first Olympiad of any kind to take place in the continent of South America.

My, how times have changed.




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