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The Olympic Ban on Russia Is a Design Triumph?

Various Russian institutions such as the Sports Ministry and the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) failed to fulfill their legal responsibility to make sure Russian athletes were clean.

 Khabib vs Mc Gregor

Countries trying to develop an effective format for sanctions against President Vladimir Putin's regime in Russia should look no further than the International Olympic Committee's decision to ban the Russian Olympic Committee from the Pyeongchang Winter Games.

It strikes a difficult balance between hurting the regime and not punishing Russians themselves, as a people of great accomplishment and value to the world. It also forces the regime to show domestically whether it cares more about itself or the Russian people.

Russians might consider how their government has let them down

The report of the IOC's Disciplinary Commission, on which the ban is based, avoids politicized generalizations about the existence of a "state-run" doping system in Russia, made in an early version of Canadian law professor Richard McLaren's report for the World Anti-Doping Agency that set off reprisals against Russian athletes competing in multiple sports.


It sweeps aside assurances from former Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko that the situation wouldn't be repeated and makes the point that the Russian institutions that failed to assure fair play have to be held responsible.

Having made the point that it's not punishing the country, just its tarnished institutions, the IOC banned Mutko and his former deputy Yury Nagornikh from future Olympic Games, told Sports Ministry officials not to come to Pyeongchang, and suspended the IOC membership of ROC President Alexander Zhukov.

Russian athletes, by contrast, are not banned. Since they will not be competing under ROC auspices, their uniforms cannot bear the Russian flag, and the Olympic anthem, rather than the Russian one, will be played for them if they place in the top three. But they will be competing as "Olympic athletes from Russia" — that is, as Russians.


4 January 18


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India's River Diversion Plan and South Asia's Waters

More dams are to come, as India’s need to power its economy means it is quietly spending billions on hydropower in Kashmir. The Senate report totted up 33 hydro projects in the border area with Pakistan. The state’s chief minister, Omar Abdullah, says dams will add an extra 3,000MW to the grid in the next eight years alone. Some analysts in Srinagar talk of over 60 dam projects, large and small, now on the books. (This special report has appeared in the Bulletin on Current Affairs - February 2012, you may have to Buy the print edition to read full story)

More in the Edition:

South Asia's Water - a growing rivalry

Indian, Pakistani & Chinese Border Disputes

India's River Diversion Plan: Its impact on Bangladesh

Water Crisis can Trigger nuclear war in South Asia

Reclaimed Water - the Western Experience

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