Russian Doping Allegations Hang Over Its Team at Tokyo Olympics, but They Don’t Seem to Care

Russia’s Olympic Crew are the pariahs of the Tokyo Video games. And, by golly, they’re having fun with it.

Grudgingly accepted into the Video games beneath the flag of the Russian Olympic Committee after a global investigation uncovered years of systematic state-sponsored doping, Russia’s athletes arrived in prickly temper, sending home reports of cramped dwelling situations, cardboard beds, and damaged bathe heads.

Then, prior to now few days, the staff has eased again on the whining and began profitable. Defiantly so.

For a lot of athletes in Tokyo, the Russians shouldn’t even be right here. The four-year ban imposed by the World Anti-Doping Company in 2019, subsequently lowered to 2 years at tribunal, ought to have dominated them out. As an alternative, with victory within the males’s and ladies’s staff gymnastics, within the fencing, the taking pictures and past, they’ve been performing past expectations.

After Evgeny Rylov’s victory within the 200-meter backstroke on Friday, the silver and bronze medalists, the American Ryan Murphy and Britain’s Luke Greenbank, each cried foul, though with out really accusing Rylov himself of doping. “It’s irritating realizing there’s a state-sponsored doping program occurring and no more being achieved to sort out that,” Greenbank mentioned. The U.S. rower Megan Kalmoe additionally took a pop after Russians got here second within the ladies’s pairs occasion. “Seeing a crew who shouldn’t even be right here stroll away with a silver is a nasty feeling,” she tweeted.

Clearly, Russia’s athletes shouldn’t all be tarred with the identical brush; nor can they be held personally answerable for systematic, state-sponsored doping. Rylov refused to get right into a confrontation on the pool, however the tennis star Daniil Medvedev exploded in anger after misinterpreting a journalist’s query about doping as an accusation in opposition to him personally. On Thursday, after shedding within the quarterfinals, the world No. 2 smashed his racquet into the court docket earlier than lofting it excessive into the empty stands on the Ariake Tennis Park. (One other Russian, Karen Khachanov, is thru to the lads’s ultimate, the place he’ll meet Alexander Zverev of Germany, whose mother and father each performed for the outdated Soviet Union.)

Looking back, it appears clear that the IOC’s messy fudge in permitting the Russians to compete in Tokyo, however to not march behind their flag or hear their anthem on the rostrum, was at all times going to inspire the staff on the sector of competitors.

As ever, winners are grinners. In a unprecedented rant on the ROC’s Russian-language Twitter feed on Friday, an unnamed official complained of “English-language propaganda oozing… by way of the mouths of athletes offended in defeat.”

“Our victories listed here are clearly unnerving our colleagues. Sure, we’re right here on the Olympic Video games and completely by proper, whether or not that pleases individuals or not,” it mentioned.

“It’s important to know the right way to to lose, however not everybody has that present. The outdated sharmanka (barrel organ) is as soon as once more taking part in the tune about Russian doping (and) somebody is rigorously turning the deal with.

“We forgive those that are weaker than us. God is their choose—and our helper.” | Russian Doping Allegations Grasp Over Its Crew at Tokyo Olympics, however They Don’t Appear to Care


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