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Oswald Commission - Russian Doping

Discussion in 'General Sports' started by jkempa, Nov 24, 2017.

  1. jkempa

    jkempa Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    I started this thread to talk about skeleton, as that's what I know. But turns out there is more.

    This is a pretty big deal.

    Four Russian competitors from the Sochi Olympics were banned for life from the sport. This includes gold medalist Aleksandr Tretyakov and bronze medalist Elena Nikitina.

    This is good news for American Katie Uhlaender (daughter of former MLB player) who would move up to bronze in women's skeleton and American Matt Antoine who could swap his bronze for a silver. Tomass Dukurs from Latvia would move from 4th to bronze, and his brother Martins moves from silver to gold - to complete his dominance of skeleton awards.

    Skeleton athletes are extremely supportive of one another. Competitions are usually among people who have been friends for years. It's very telling that there is basically ZERO support for the Russian athletes from their fellow competitors. Everyone knew what was up, and it's exciting that this is happening. You still feel for the athletes that didn't get their moment on the podium, and I also feel for John Daly, who pushed his final run in Sochi to try and capture bronze, and popped out of the groove and dropped to 15th. I imagine he would have run his race differently if Tretyakov had been disqualified in 2014 instead of almost four years later.

    In looking for another link on the subject to discuss whether the Oswald Commission will be getting serious with other sports, I see this banning more Russian athletes:

    Olga Stulneva (bobsled)
    Aleksand Zubkov (bobsled, gold 2-man & 4-man)
    Olga Fatkulina (speed skating, silver 500m0
    Aleksaner Rumyantsev (speed skating)

    The commission is working to have decisions on all of the athletes under investigation prior to the 2018 Olympics in PyeongChang. Seems that Russia may be a bit light on experience once the games come.
     
  2. jkempa

    jkempa Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    More news as the IOC is backing Grigory Rodchenkov as a witness against Russian doping in Sochi.

    If you're interested in this, I recommend "Icarus" on Netflix, that follows Rodchenkov's story. It's pretty fascinating.

    We are really seeing whether WADA is willing to stand up to Russia, and the implications of these decisions could be very important for the future of clean sport.
     
  3. jkempa

    jkempa Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    Judging by today's ruling from the IBSF (International Bobsled & Skeleton Federation), looks like the governing bodies aren't really interested in standing up to Russian doping allegations. All of the athletes have been provisionally reinstated.
     
  4. Deathofthebambino

    Deathofthebambino Drive Carefully SoSH Member

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    That's pretty sad news. I don't know anything about this stuff other than what you've posted, but I'm just curious where your interest/knowledge of skeleton comes from? Did you compete in it? How did that happen? Were you born in like Lake Placid or wherever the one place in the US that you can actually do skeleton (I don't know if you do Skeleton, race skeleton, play skeleton, etc.) is located? I'm actually seriously asking these questions. I'm fascinated by it. Years ago, I used to say I wanted to become a curler. There's actually (or there was) a pretty big curling club or something in Wayland, MA. But like so many other ideas I've had, that one just disappeared into the abyss of nonsense that I choose to actually spend my time on.
     
  5. SumnerH

    SumnerH Malt Liquor Picker Dope

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    http://sonsofsamhorn.net/index.php?threads/1st-ebola-case-in-the-us.5906/page-14#post-922849
     
  6. Deathofthebambino

    Deathofthebambino Drive Carefully SoSH Member

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    Well, that's fucking awesome, and pretty much exactly what I was looking for. Pretty proud of myself for nailing the Lake Placid connection.

    Although, I still don't know what the verb is to doing skeleton? I mean, it can't just be "race skeleton," because what if it's practice? Do you sled skeleton? Run skeleton? Slide? Scream "Holy fucking shit, I'm skeletoning?"
     
  7. SumnerH

    SumnerH Malt Liquor Picker Dope

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    I think it's sliding, but jkempa will know for sure.
     
  8. Mr. Wednesday

    Mr. Wednesday lurker

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    Broomstones is still going strong. There's also been an explosion of other clubs in MA. I know of the following: South Shore (arena ice in, I think, Brockton), North End (just started up I think at an MDC rink in Boston), Merrimack Valley (rents from Nashua CC), Marlborough (arena ice at either the NESC or a public rink), Blackstone Valley (arena ice in Hopedale), and Pittsfield (arena ice in the Boy's Club). I'd imagine there's something in the Connecticut River valley, but I don't know for sure.
     
  9. jkempa

    jkempa Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    SumnerH is right, as usual!

    It does sound kind of silly to be honest, but I'm not sure there's a better term. Skeletoning just doesn't work.
     
  10. ConigliarosPotential

    ConigliarosPotential Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

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    See, I had that same idea, but I decided to do something about it - and three years later, I'm a skip for the first time in my curling club in Edinburgh and enjoy the heck out of the sport.

    Back to the topic at hand, there are real rumblings that Russia will get kicked out of the Olympics tomorrow...

    http://www.bbc.com/sport/winter-olympics/42224731

    ...and as someone with a real stake in the decision, insofar as I now commentate on the Russian hockey league (KHL) and will be commentating on the Olympic hockey tournament, I'm really torn about what should happen. I feel like most of the Russian athletes, those whose activities are generally directed by the Russian Olympic Federation, probably do deserve to get kicked out of Olympics: the case for the prosecution is pretty damning. But in the case of the men's hockey team and its players, I feel like they operate in a rather different world - the KHL is an open league whose players will form the backbone of many countries' teams at the Olympics (the KHL and the AHL are probably the best two leagues from whom players will be selected), and they all operate under the same doping rules and regulations. And those rules do have teeth, at least on occasion: one of the three players to ever win the KHL MVP award in its 10-year history to date, Denis Zaripov, was given a two-year doping ban this past summer that was only reduced to a six-month ban a few weeks ago after he appealed to the CAS in Switzerland. (The irony of a Russian player being found guilty of doping in Russia and then having that ban overturned on appeal outside of Russia is curious.) I don't think the IOC would leave the men's hockey team intact while banning everyone else, but letting guys from the KHL represent the US, Canada, Sweden, Finland etc. but not Russia would feel more than a little bizarre to me.
     
  11. kenneycb

    kenneycb Hates Goose Island Beer; Loves Backdoor Play SoSH Member

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    Per numerous sources, Russia has been barred from the 2018 Olympics.
     
  12. canderson

    canderson Well-Known Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

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    Here's the NYT story: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/05/sports/olympics/ioc-russia-winter-olympics.html

     
  13. PedroSpecialK

    PedroSpecialK Comes at you like a tornado of hair and the NHL sa Silver Supporter SoSH Member

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    Real shame after that completely above-board World Cup draw

    edit: Having said that, obviously it is awful for the clean athletes who have been preparing for 2018
     
  14. canderson

    canderson Well-Known Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

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    They can still compete, just under the Olympic flag.
     
  15. InstaFace

    InstaFace MDLzera

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    After all the revelations, how would you even know which they are? Every interview I see with the banned ones, they're basically crying that they were framed, or that the ministry of sport threatened their families unless they did it, or whatever. There are no saints here.

    Their medal hopes may be Shattered, but at least they'll come away from it with Love and Memories.
     
  16. Ale Xander

    Ale Xander Member SoSH Member

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    How do the hockey players, especially if amateur, organize themselves? Are they even eligible to form a team?

    Can the figure skaters send as many competitors as they want now?

    (furthermore, started a thread of its own for 2018, didn;t realize what "Oswald" meant before now)
     
  17. 21st Century Sox

    21st Century Sox Member SoSH Member

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    Agreed, but having watched Icarus I think that number is tiny, and hope those few can complete neutrally....
     
  18. Fred not Lynn

    Fred not Lynn Dick Button Jr. SoSH Member

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    Ooohhhh...That’ll teach ‘em.

    So where do I sign up to compete under the Olympic Flag? Is there an online form or something?
     
  19. jkempa

    jkempa Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    My Facebook feed is full of athletes praising the decision. Here's skeleton athlete Matt Antoine:

    Interestingly, there has been some strange stuff on FB that reminds me a little of what was alleged about the election here. Odd defenses of Russian practices, and the weirdest was from last week. It was a press release from the Russian Bobsled & Skeleton Federation stating that Martins Dukurs, "The newly minted fake Olympic Champion from Latvia so violently celebrated his artificial victory so he missed the bus."

    I can't read Russian nearly well enough to tell if that's really what it said (I'm relying on someone else's translation) - nor do I know what the "missing the bus" is referring to.
     
  20. Spelunker

    Spelunker Well-Known Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

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    There's one in Falmouth as well. A friend of mine that was a case worker on the Cape took it up because in winter the choices were either curling or heroin, and it's easier to drink beer while curling.
     
  21. Average Reds

    Average Reds Well-Known Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

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    1. The World Cup draw has nothing to do with the Olympics.

    2. Who are these clean athletes you speak of?
     
  22. jkempa

    jkempa Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    One other interesting thing that I remember is that Russia's rise to prominence in Skeleton and Bobsled really started around 2007 or so (if I remember right). Which was more or less in line with the timing for a major sponsorship deal for them with Gazprom. Not that is necessarily indicative of anything related to doping, but it does demonstrate the degree to which sport is supported by the Russian government, in ways that are clearly different from prevailing practice elsewhere in the world. The numbers I heard (which were total hearsay) were very large -- tens of millions of dollars.

    No word whether Gazprom head Viktor Zubkov (and former Russian PM) is of any relation to bobsled pilot Alexander Zubkov :)
     
  23. PedroSpecialK

    PedroSpecialK Comes at you like a tornado of hair and the NHL sa Silver Supporter SoSH Member

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    It's conveniently timed piece of karma after the group Russia 'drew' last week. And I am in no way bitter that Iran drew the group of death...

     
  24. cshea

    cshea Member SoSH Member

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    The fallout with the hockey tournament will be interesting. The KHL had threatened to continue play and not allow any players from their league participate in the Olympics if Russia got banned. If they follow through, the player pool will be severely limited.

    Also interesting to see what happens with the Russian team- Do guys like Kovalchuk and Datsyuk apply and try to play under the OAR flag, if the KHL lets them go?
     
  25. Fred not Lynn

    Fred not Lynn Dick Button Jr. SoSH Member

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    This decision is almost totally meaningless. It’s PR and spin, with almost zero actual consequence. I don’t understand this guy’s enthusiasm at all.
     
  26. jkempa

    jkempa Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    Are you saying you don’t think the IOC is going to go through with the ban?

    This is very likely to allow Matt to swap his bronze medal for silver from Sochi, and takes away a serious competitor from PyeongChang, so I think some enthusiasm is to be expected.
     
  27. swiftaw

    swiftaw Member SoSH Member

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    Hmm, the Olympic Hockey tournament is pretty screwed. NHL players were already not going, and the KHL has said that because Russia is banned they aren't allowing their players to go either.
     
  28. Fred not Lynn

    Fred not Lynn Dick Button Jr. SoSH Member

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    This ban, and the results of Sochi are two different issues...and this so-called ban just makes the same athletes wear different uniforms. It’s an actual ban if they aren’t allowed to show up and race...anything less is just a change of clothes
     
  29. jkempa

    jkempa Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    The athletes who will be given the opportunity to compete under the Olympic flag must prove their innocence first. That means there are going to be an awful lot (majority) of competitors from Sochi that aren’t allowed to compete in South Korea. In skeleton in particular, all of Russia’s top athletes will be banned.
     
  30. crystalline

    crystalline Member SoSH Member

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    Wow. I didn't expect this. I don't think Russia is going to take this lying down - but maybe.

    Rodchenkov is still in the witness protection program.
     
  31. Fred not Lynn

    Fred not Lynn Dick Button Jr. SoSH Member

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    Let’s see what the actual burden to “prove their innocence” is.

    Personally, I’d love this to be a catalyst to remove nationality from the Olympic qualification process altogether...
     
  32. The Needler

    The Needler lurker

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    Could you connect those dots, please?
     
  33. InstaFace

    InstaFace MDLzera

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    He's saying, imagine there's no countries. It isn't hard to do. Nothing to kill or die for, y'know?
     
  34. canderson

    canderson Well-Known Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

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    America may show Russian solidarity and pull out of the Olympics too.

    WH Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said today they haven't decided whether the US will participate.
     
  35. Spelunker

    Spelunker Well-Known Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

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    But what about the religion?
     
  36. Fred not Lynn

    Fred not Lynn Dick Button Jr. SoSH Member

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    I mean let the best athletes in Earth participate - with no regard to what country they’re from, what convenient passport they inherited from their grandfather or which particular country grants citizenship to “free agents” who can help their medal count.

    If that means there are too many Dutch speed skaters and Brazilian volleyball players so be it, they deserve to be there. It kind of sucks to watch the Olympics eating cold cereal in your underwear knowing you’re capable of a top ten finish on a good day, but not top four at the trials on a bad one...

    Want to see pretty flags and sing more anthems, go to Disneyland and ride “It’s a Small World”. When I watch sports, I want to see the best athletes, period.

    Anyone ever watch an NFL game and think, “There’s too many Americans out there. Let’s replace some of them with Swedes”?
     
    #36 Fred not Lynn, Dec 7, 2017 at 3:45 PM
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017 at 3:53 PM
  37. The Needler

    The Needler lurker

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    You've just cut worldwide viewership by at least 50% immediately, and worldwide funding for Olympic sports by even more than that.

    Nobody is watching without the nationalist angle. Nobody even watches these sports in their annual World Championships with that angle present.
     
  38. Marciano490

    Marciano490 Urological Expert SoSH Member

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    Christians will definitely beat Muslims during the Winter Games.
     
  39. SumnerH

    SumnerH Malt Liquor Picker Dope

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    Yeah, the inter-nation competition is the whole point of the Olympics, and one of the more interesting parts of watching. If you scrap that you may as well just eliminate the whole thing,
     
  40. Ale Xander

    Ale Xander Member SoSH Member

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    How do you do team sports without something to group them?
     
  41. Fred not Lynn

    Fred not Lynn Dick Button Jr. SoSH Member

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    Normally when I do this rant, I make exception - might as well group Team sports by nationality...it’s as good as any other way.
     

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