December 2, 2015
The Russian Federation being the host-nation of the 2018 FIFA World Cup has sustained grave reputation damage. On November 09, a report of the World Anti-Dope Agency (WADA) was published blaming Russian officials in interference in the WADA activity in Moscow resulted in concealment of the dope-tests outcome. The subsequent message of the International Association of Athletics Federation urged to debar Russian sportsmen and sportswomen from their participation in any competition under the sponsorship of the above-cited Association, including the Olympics 2016. On November 13 the IAAF suspended Russia’s membership in the association for an indefinite term. This solution was supported by 22 voters, meanwhile only one chose the “no” option. Moreover, the IAAF denied Russia the right to host the race walking team championship and junior Athletics World championship that was to take place in Kazan in 2016.
Owing to the WADA decision such events as short track speed skating competition scheduled for January 22-24, 2016 in Moscow and speed skating World championship in Kolomna for February 11-14, 2016 were in fact canceled. Even more significant sport event for the whole Russian sport community as well as for the state reputation is at risk, which is the 80th anniversary ice hockey tournament that is about to take place in Russia on May 6-22, 2016.
The WADA accused Russian governmental institutions of the dope test manipulation. It is mentioned that the Minister of sport of the Russian Federation V. Mutko was well-informed of these manipulations as the instruction to conceal positive dope tests came directly from his office and the anti-dope lab working procedure was thoroughly supervised by the Federal Security Agency officers. Mr. Mutko, lodging in the UEFA Executive Committee, belongs to the Putin’s closest associates. In order to obtain “clean test” a sportsman should have paid 50 thousand rubles to Gregorii Radchenkov – director of the Moscow anti-dope laboratory and 20 thousand rubles to the Russian National Athletics Federation. It became clear that G. Radchenkov had eliminated 1147 tests. Moreover he repeatedly insulted WADA investigators by calling them “fools”.
Impunity and propaganda in the Russian World are boundless and allow national authorities to disregard any laws including the international ones. However, the dope scandal in Russia and following WADA’s reaction demonstrate that the international community is fed up with Russian officials’ corrupt mayhem and is getting down to effective measures intended to force Russia to realize that it isn’t as mighty and terrible and that the law applies to everyone without discrimination.
Mass limit of corruption activities of the Russian high-ranking authorities in the world of sport is growing dramatically. In this respect WADA’s verdict is likely to become a considerable obstacle for hosting 2018 FIFA World Cup. Viewed by the sport fans from all over the world Russia seems not to merit the honor to host international sport tournaments, particularly such large-scale and important as the football World Cup. Taking into consideration that the politics soaked into the sport long ago, it plays significant role in the given case. If Kremlin politicians don’t make any reasonable conclusions and go on ignoring the position of the international community, the issue of consecutive isolation of Russia and consequently the revision of the host-nation candidacy may be put point-blank.
The future events are hazy as well as Russia-West relationships, though the shadow of anti-dope scandal will impend over the plans to host 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.tyszecki