*Iana Roginska cowrote this op-ed.

On Feb. 8, 47 Russian athletes lost an appeal to participate in the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea, just hours before the opening ceremony. The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) supported the December 2017 decision of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to ban Russian athletes and the country’s Olympic Committee from participating in the games due to Russia’s decades-long practice of circumventing anti-doping programs and tests. Though Russia and its athletes deny that the doping program was created at the highest levels of government, make no mistake: This was a state-sponsored doping scheme.

Russian doping scandals are not new. Decades ago, Soviet officials developed a cheating system that enabled them to provide their athletes with performance-enhancing drugs without any consequences. They have been fooling the world and the IOC at least since 1968, and they are proud of it.

What the United States fails to understand is that the doping scandals are simply one part of a broader disinformation strategy that is not only accepted, but often lauded, within the Russian government.

 

[…] Read the full piece here.

 

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