The Olympics could be a money grab flooded with lies and political favors and dominated by countries using their wealth and sporting prowess to show off their power. Sure, the I.O.C. could tolerate that.
But competition itself cannot be considered a joke. The results can’t be fiction. Sponsors wouldn’t go for that. Viewers might not tune in.
So, in came the long-lost integrity police. And out went the Russians. They are barred from the 2018 Games for what I.O.C. President Thomas Bach called an “unprecedented attack on the Olympic Games and sport,” though some to-be-determined number of Russian athletes will get to participate if they can prove some to-be-determined degree of performance enhancing drug-free living.
It took Bach a year of investigators’ nit-picking through details and documents before he pretty much decided that, well, yes, that initial report was true.
To that, clean athletes everywhere should say, well, finally.
“It’s a good step for clean athletes,” said Lowell Bailey, an American biathlete and current world champion who has been outspoken about doping. “But it’s a dark day for Olympic sport. I think most athletes who compete clean…