Anti-doping officials around the world are calling for Russian athletes in all sports to be banned from the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil after a scathing report out from the independent World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) on Monday implicated Russia in a doping scheme that involved hiding hundreds of positive drug test results ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
This could be viewed as the second shoe dropping for Russia related to drug use. The Russian track and field team has already been banned from Rio thanks to doping allegations, and now WADA and other anti-doping agencies say that all Russian athletes should be barred from the Olympics.
The International Olympic Committee, the body with the power to ban an entire nation from the Olympics, didn’t indicate how it planned to deal with the allegations, but acknowledged the gravity of the situation and vowed to take the “strongest sanctions possible.” Russia has brushed off the report, saying it is largely political and maintains it has always maintained strict anti-doping rules for its international athletes.
Should Russia be banned based on the WADA report? What would it mean for the Olympic Games if Russia weren’t allowed to participate?
John Hoberman, sports historian and doping expert at the University of Texas-Austin; he studies politics and the Olympics, and use of performance-enhancing drugs