Written by Viktor Stoilov exclusively for SouthFront
The decision by the IOC to ban Russia from attending the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang comes as no surprise. The alleged systematic state-organized doping use was of course the pretext for the ban. It’s not a surprise as Russia was on the verge of a complete ban during the Summer Olympics in Rio last year. The IOC went as far as banning the whole Russian Paralympics team where they showcased their anti-human and anti-sport nature.
It’s as obvious as it can get, it’s a political decision, it has nothing to do with sports. The Russian athletes who are found to be “clean” can participate under “neutral flag”. Basically, the IOC didn’t ban the athletes, they banned the Russian flag and anthem. This is yet another brick in the wall of the proxy war against Russia. Most of the leading figures in the IOC come from the UK and the US which makes it even less of a surprise that Russia is being demonized.
This decision, however, is having more than just the obvious effects. Now, the athletes and the official authorities in Russia have tough decisions to make. The instincts say to boycott the Olympics. Yet, Russia is not as powerful as the Soviet Union used to be and won’t have the support of other countries. This time, they have to play it very smart. The athletes, on the other hand, have to make a decision what is more important – their Motherland or their careers?
There is no right answer. If you’re an athlete and you’ve trained your whole life to get to the ultimate goal of participating in the Olympics, can you quit because the political decision of the IOC is doing everything possible to stop you and your country? On the other hand, the pride of being Russian is being brutally harmed and discriminated by not waving the Russian flag. Many people in Russia would also call you a traitor of the Motherland.
However, who are the real traitors? The real traitors are those Russian sport authorities who throughout the years have done NOTHING to defend the interests of athletes and the Russian Federation. These people have made mistake after mistake and their greed, self-interest and incompetence has led to this situation. As the Russian political analyst Mikhail Delyagin ironically stated, the Russian sport authorities must start defending the rights of LGBTQ community. That way the liberals in Russia would be happy because finally someone would defend them and the conservatives would also be happy because, knowing how they defended the interests of the athletes, they’ll just make them look worse.
This is yet another attempt to discredit Russia and Putin. Everything must be handled with precise thought and no decisions should be made in a rush. This time the IOC went too far and if Russia plays its cards right, they can give a major blow to the reputation of the IOC and all of the country’s enemies.
The March 2018 Russian Presidential elections are now just a few months ahead of us and we’ll witness more and more provocations against Russia anywhere you can think of. After the elections comes the FIFA World Cup in Russia which will be a great test for Russia if they can handle all the pressure and beat all of their enemies. 2018 will decide the future of the Russian Federation. If they handle every attack against them, they’ll show that they are ready to be an alternative to the current global order.