…and nothing but the truth

The director general of Russia’s National Anti Doping Agency today reacted on the recent revelations in the second part of the McLaren-Report (for more on the report itself: More of the same, only worse…). That doesn’t really sound like big news, and in the end it isn’t, but the statement Anna Antseliovich made was indeed quite interesting and, in a way, telling.

According to the New York Times, Ms. Anstseliovich stated that there was indeed a nationwide doping system in existence, something which Vladimir Putin quite plainly denied, just days ago. She even went so far as calling it an ‘institutional conspiracy’ before insisting that governmental top officials were not involved in any way.

Ms. Antseliovich is not the only Russian official now apparently admitting that the findings in the McLaren-Report (or at least part of it…) were indeed correct. Vitali Smirnov, head of Russia’s reform efforts concerning the anti(!)-doping-system, agreed that Russian sports authorities have made ‘mistakes’. It’s not exactly what you would call a giant leap, and so Richard McLaren himself was rather cautious, calling these statements ‘damage control’.

Actually they are now applying the old and well known tactic of admitting only those things that are already proven anyway. And meanwhile Russian officials have denied the existence of Ms. Antseliovich’s statement in the first place. The New York Times, which the Kremlin considers to be a ‘non-reliable primary source’, and I’ll leave that to your own judgement, allegedly ‘misunderstood’ or ‘misquoted’ her. They did not say however that the content of her statement was wrong. Only that it was meant differently or in another context, without clarifying what that other context might be…

So, while some officials might be about to find the right track, Russian authorities in general are still trying to play games with international sports organizations. Fortunately some International Federations (Bobsleigh/Skeleton, Biathlon, Skiing, Skating and of course Athletics) are taking these developments way more seriously. And so should the IOC…

If you want to read the original New York Times article, you can take a look here (external link): Russians no longer dispute Olympic doping operation – New York Times, Dec 27, 2016

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