In the wake of Russia’s athletic doping scandal, Professor Dionne Koller contributed an article to U.S. News & World Report urging the leaders of international sport to overhaul their governance structure and rules to “sincerely promote clean, authentic competition.”
On Monday, the World Anti-Doping Agency released a report about widespread, state-sponsored doping in Russia in at least 30 sports. The report concluded that Russia’s government was behind the doping and had orchestrated cover-ups. The agency has urged the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to ban Russian athletes from the Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro.
If Russians are banned from this summer’s games, it would be the first time athletes were not allowed to compete because of reasons related to sport. (Athletes have been banned in the past because of political transgressions by their countries.) The IOC is to make a decision in the coming days.
In “Five Ring Fraud” (July 20), Koller says “foot-dragging” by the IOC and the World Anti-Doping Agency over longstanding allegations of Russian doping occurred because the governing bodies do not have clear rules that would authorize an investigation into such claims.
“Without any standards for taking action in these situations, the IOC is seemingly making it up as it goes along – and the credibility of international sport is hanging in the balance,” writes Koller, the director of UB’s Center for Sport and the Law.
Koller also called on the IOC’s corporate partners — including NBC, Coca-Cola, General Electric, McDonald’s and Procter & Gamble – to hold the Olympic committee’s feet to the fire.
“By standing idly by and continuing to support an Olympic Movement that does not yet fully respect honest, clean competition, they – and we – are quickly becoming worldwide partners to fraud.”