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RIATH AL-SAMARRAI: Russia’s Olympic exile should not be lifted

These latest revelations from Grigory Rodchenkov are astonishing and yet the feeling of surprise quickly fades. 

That is because we are becoming ever more desensitised to the depravity of Russian doping and less outraged by their systematic, state-sponsored cheating. We shouldn’t. The danger here is to stop paying attention and to reduce it to a matter of the past. It isn’t.

Their ongoing exile from track and field, which will not be ended by World Athletics any time soon, is based on far more recent evidence in the past five years. Evidence which is overwhelming and extraordinary in nature.

What these latest claims about the 1984 Olympics tell us, if they are to be believed, is that the pattern of behaviour goes back at least 36 years.

If that is true, how can anyone possibly believe in good faith that the two points in time are not connected?

Not isolated stepping stones, but a bridge. 

If the individual sporting federations and the IOC were truly fussed, you suspect Russia, across all disciplines beyond athletics, would soon be missing another Olympics and not out of choice.

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