Discussions of the conditions that are imposed on Russian athletes to participate in The Games in Paris have not subsided in recent months. However, no one expected that the Olympics itself would be in jeopardy. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) suddenly decided to demonstrate a tough position.
Justice or blackmail? In early September, WADA filed claims against the French Anti-Doping Agency (AFLD). Local authorities were accused of not being strict enough. WADA is already threatening to initiate proceedings, the consequences of which could be serious.
According to AFP, the organization addressed the French agency with a letter in which it listed several cases of doping. In situations with them, according to WADA, decisions were made that were “clearly inconsistent with the code and the law of the Court of Arbitration for Sport.”
The investigation threatens French sport with sanctions. They are similar to the “Russian scenario” – athletes will be disconnected from international tournaments, and competitions will be removed from the country, including the Olympics. True, this is only one of the likely outcomes.
The French authorities categorically disagreed with the accusation and have already called such actions “real blackmail.”
Is the threat to the Olympics real? In Russia, tough actions by WADA against the French agency greeted with approval. Four-time Olympic champion in biathlon Alexander Tikhonov noted that it is necessary to carefully consider not only the actions of Russia, but also other countries.
“WADA must severely punish the French. As for a possible ban on holding the Olympics, this is the prerogative of the IOC. The greatest sporting event has already been turned into a trash heap, because now there are only trials and doping. The whole world is waiting for the Olympics, but they cannot figure out who is right “, and who is to blame. The IOC must intervene and put everyone in their place,” he said.
Despite loud statements, the Paris Games will most likely still take place. According to sports lawyer Anna Antseliovich, the investigation procedure is quite lengthy and is unlikely to be completed before the Olympics.
“”First, an accusation is made, then time is given to give an explanation, a corrective action plan is drawn up, then time is given to implement this plan. But what if it is not implemented, then WADA launches the procedure for recognizing the agency as non-compliant with the requirements of the code, offering some consequences. In this case, the agency has the opportunity to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which will make the final decision. Potentially, this entire procedure may not be completed until began the Olympics in Paris, so France will not lose the right to host it,” said the lawyer.
The whole procedure is designed to show Western countries that the rules are the same for everyone. Double standards in the field of anti-doping control have been harming world sports for a very long time. We can only hope that WADA will progressively move in the right direction.
The author’s opinion may not coincide with the position of the editors