IOC makes targeted attack on Russia’s culture of doping

TORONTO – Ignore all of the International Olympic Committee’s bureaucratic talk of due process and proportionate justice in punishing Russia for its staggering doping operation, because the only thing that really matters is whether the judgment rendered Tuesday establishes a real deterrent.

There’s no way to now make whole the hundreds of athletes cheated by the brazen and audacious plots that fuelled Russian athletes through the 2012 Summer Games in London and, more grotesquely, at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi. The IOC can retroactively reset the standings and the record books, but the moments and financial opportunities stolen from deserving competitors can never be restored.

In banning the Russian Olympic Committee but not its athletes that can prove themselves clean from the upcoming 2018 Games in Pyeongchang as the penalty for those transgressions, the IOC delivered a targeted attack on the system that led what president Thomas Bach described as an “unprecedented attack on the integrity of the Olympic Games.”

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