But this “tip of the iceberg” comment was interesting. We REALLY need to see the rest of that iceberg. We know what’s happening (or not happening, in some cases) in Kenya, Jamaica and presumably the rest of the world, but what will it take to reveal it? Do we need to wait for another massive scandal to get our heads beneath the surface? This is the best chance to get wholesale change.
And this “tip of the iceberg” extends into other sports too, of that I am sure. I do understand that the commission had a relatively narrow mandate, and couldn’t go beyond track and field. But it is inconceivable to me that a) the problem is limited to Russia and b) it involves only one sport. Why would it? Anyone wanting medals and money has options well beyond athletics, so why would it stop there? Maybe the money is smaller, but I’ve no doubt the problem exists.
The danger now is that it will be spun into a political West vs East battle. It already appears head this way – Russia’s response is to bring Crimea and Ukraine into it.
The Western media will be tempted to point fingers, having found their villain. By default, they’ll also find their hero, driven in no small part by patriotic biases. Ivan Drago against Rocky Balboa. Evil vs good. It feeds such an easy narrative, one in which good triumphs over evil despite all odds. Newsflash – doping doesn’t lend itself to that fairytale.
Russia, for all its very obvious problems (it deserves a ban, far more substantial than a slap on the wrist), cannot be the only focal point of cynicism and punishment. If WADA and the IAAF are to regain trust, they must act not only against Russia, but use this as the platform on which to build an entirely new approach to transparency and anti-doping.
Pound is right – this problem is not limited to Russia alone, and while it may be the epicentre of this particular corruption, it does not have exclusive rights to cheating or the ensuing cover-ups. It would be a shame if they are fingered, punished and those in power simply move on, having burned the easy scapegoat.