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Sport Australians will have medals stripped if they protest against Russians

02:35  11 december  2019
02:35  11 december  2019 Source:   smh.com.au

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Australian athletes who stage podium protests against Russian competitors at the Tokyo Olympics will have their medals stripped . WADA’s executive committee has banned Russian national teams competing at major world championships for the next four years after an exhaustive forensic

The following is a list of stripped Olympic medals . The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is the governing body of the Olympic Games, and as such

Sun Yang et al. posing for the camera: Australia's Mack Horton refuses to share the podium with Yang Sun at this year’s swimming world championships in South Korea.© AP Australia's Mack Horton refuses to share the podium with Yang Sun at this year’s swimming world championships in South Korea.

Australian athletes who stage podium protests against Russian competitors at the Tokyo Olympics will have their medals stripped.

In other words, they will have to bite their medal and their tongues.

Given the simmering anger over the World Anti-Doping Agency’s decision to allow some Russian athletes to compete at the Games - and the tendency of Australian athletes to speak louder than the rest of the world when it comes to doping - it's a point the Australian Olympic Committee will likely need to reinforce.

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Their medal -ceremony protest was relatively spontaneous—the pair decided People in the crowd booed and cursed at the athletes. The IOC convened the next day and determined that Smith and Carlos would have to forfeit their medals and leave the Olympic Village—and Mexico—immediately.

All eyes will surely be on Australian swimmer Mack Horton when the Australian team arrives in Japan after he refused to share a podium with controversial Chinese swimmer Sun Yang following the men’s 400 metres at the world championships earlier this year.

WADA’s executive committee has banned Russian national teams competing at major world championships for the next four years after an exhaustive forensic investigation revealed anti-doping authorities in Moscow had manipulated and hid laboratory data.

You cannot make this stuff up.

It might be the strongest sanction WADA has ever handed down, but in essence it’s a ban on a tracksuit and a national anthem. Russian athletes will be allowed to compete in Tokyo under a neutral banner, just as they did at last year’s Winter Olympics in PyeongChang.

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Will the sight of another bunch of athletes wearing bland grey tracksuits be enough to appease a suspicious public about the cleanliness of the Olympic sport?

WADA insists “clean” Russian athletes will only be allowed to compete in Tokyo on the strictest of conditions.

They must show they’ve regularly returned negative results in and out of competition before arriving in Tokyo; they cannot have been named in the McLaren Report, which exposed a gobsmacking level of state-sponsored doping at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi; and they cannot have been implicated in the suspicious data that Moscow worked so clandestinely to cover up.

“While being tough on the authorities, this recommendation avoids punishing the innocent and instead stands up for the rights of clean athletes everywhere,” said Jonathan Taylor, the chair of WADA’s Compliance Review Committee. “If an athlete from Russia can prove that they were not involved in the institutionalised doping program, that their data were not part of the manipulation, that they were subject to adequate testing prior to the event in question, and that they fulfil any other strict conditions to be determined, they will be allowed to compete.”

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The 2014 anti -war protests in Russia refers to a series of anti -war demonstrations opposing the Russian military intervention in Ukraine that took place in Russia in 2014. Protesters held two anti -war protest rallies on 2 and 15 March 2014.

Another 11 Russians were convicted of having committed anti -doping rule violations in Sochi by Cas but had their life bans cut to a ban from the Pyeongchang Games Among them were members of the Russian four-man bobsleigh team that won medals in Sochi – meaning the GB team, which originally

We understand the importance of fair play. We appreciate that it is too simplistic to smear every athlete from one country because of the actions of others. We don’t want to hysterically point the finger at every Russian athlete, just as others have at Chinese swimmers in recent years because of that country's putrid history of systemic doping.

Lilly King, Yuliya Yefimova are posing for a picture: Lilly King, left, eventually prevailed over Yulia Efimova but had some strong words for her Russian rival after being beaten in the Rio 100m breaststroke semis.© AP Lilly King, left, eventually prevailed over Yulia Efimova but had some strong words for her Russian rival after being beaten in the Rio 100m breaststroke semis.

But if there was ever a case to enforce a blanket ban, from the top to the bottom, from athlete, coach, administrator, surely this was it.

Four years ago, the former head of Russia's anti-doping laboratory Grigory Rodchenkov revealed to WADA he had been the mastermind behind the decision to place a hole in the wall and swap dirty urine samples for clean ones during the Sochi Olympics.

The resulting McLaren Report prompted WADA to ban Russia for three years, including the Rio Olympics. The IOC in its infinite wisdom rejected WADA’s recommendation a few weeks before the opening ceremony, instead handballing the decision onto the respective international federations.

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Some, like the IAAF, upheld the ban on Russian athletes. FINA did not and the atmosphere at the pool during those Olympics was palpable.

Russia’s Yulia Efimova shook her finger in celebration after winning the semi-final in the 100m breaststroke, prompting American rival Lilly King to tell American journalists: "You're shaking your finger, number one, and you've been caught for drug cheating — I'm just not a fan”.

The following night, after Efimova finished second to King, the crowd erupted in boos when Efimova took the podium to collect the medal.

Efimova burst into tears. It was hard not feel for her, as unpopular as that belief was that evening.

Sure, Efimova had tested positive in 2014 to steroids and banned for 16 months. But here was a 23-year-old athlete, who had been raised competing for a country responsible for the biggest state-sanctioned doping regime since East Germany in the 1960s and 1970s, wearing the world’s frustrations.

And then Russia went and did it all again, and this time trying to cover it up in scenes you might read in a Tom Clancy novel.

"Russia was afforded every opportunity to get its house in order and rejoin the global anti-doping community for the good of its athletes and of the integrity of sport,” WADA president Craig Reedie said. “But it chose instead to continue in its stance of deception and denial.”

So why are their athletes competing? Russia will still win medals in Tokyo. A lot of them. They'll just be wearing a different tracksuit.

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