Much of the Russian press and athletes in Tokyo behave as if punishment for state doping does not exist.
Prominent commentators on official channels agitate the idea that the country is under siege, even in sports.
“We beat America and Australia! Russian swimming takes off towards Fujiyama.” This euphoric headline headed this Wednesday Vladimir Ivanov’s column, one of Russia’s best-known sports commentators, on the portal ‘SportExpress’. Paying tribute to men’s swimming medley in the 4×200 relay, which during the day had obtained the silver medal behind the team of Britain, Ivanov maintains that thanks to the prize obtained, the country had returned to “lto elite“world of this discipline for the first time since the Soviet era, having managed to” form A quartet“competitive in the” toughest category, the 4 x 200 meter relays “.
Triumphalism has not been limited to watersports. The local media have celebrated with relish the national team victories artistic gymnastics, Olympic discipline par excellence, especially after snatching the female throne to the United States, its historical rival, both in geopolitics and in sports. “Historic victory of Russia, the (women’s) team equaled the men’s”, proclaims triumphant an article also published in ‘Sport Express’.
The successes of local athletes are serving as a balm questioned Russian sport, while the controversy surrounding the state doping, which had made so many headlines in recent years, is shining for his absence, both in the news coverage and in the behavior of athletes in Tokyo. Whether reading the russian press, either by observing the Way of acting of the Olympic representatives in the Japanese capital, no one would say that Russia has been excluded from sports competitions, after having been subjected to the tougher penalties never taken against a country by world sporting bodies.
As if it did not exist
First, the official name: no media or local leader mentions the local Olympic team by authorized identification –Republic of China, the Russian Olympic Committee– but directly speaks of “Russia”, as if the punishment did not exist. Second, the uniforms: Although the name of the country is not written on the official team garment, the colors of the national insignia are identified, red, white and blue, despite the fact that in the previous Olympic event, in the winter games held in South Korea, the participants were forced to wear white, a neutral color. Even Russian athletics, the sporting discipline that originated the entire scandal six years ago, will have a dozen representatives in the Tokyo Olympic stadium when the competitions begin, despite the fact that in the Rio games, the athletes are vetoed Russians was total.
Days before the opening ceremony, the newspaper ‘Védomosti’ revealed the existence of an instruction manual prepared by the Russian Olympic Committee in which the Olympians were instructed about how to behave in the Japanese capital, warning them that the questions from foreign journalists could have a character “provocative“and recommending responding with a” no comment “to issues such as state doping or even the Black Lives Matter movement.
Tina kandelaki, a well-known and glamorous television presenter on government channels, with almost three million followers in her Instagram account, is stirring, along with many others, the mentality that the country is under siege, even at the level of Olympism. “In this world everything is politicized, starting with Eurovision … to the Tokyo Olympics,” he wrote in a post that has obtained almost 30,000 ‘likes’. “The Games are one of those occasions in which one likes to show and show that he is Russian; all these humiliations of the AMA, (the world anti-doping agency) these prohibitions and permanent limitations, do nothing but give us strength,” he said. completed.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.