Hope this clip plays correctly, because (Russian expat & smart journalist) Julia Ioffe’s theories about Russia are… not quite the same as those we usually tell ourselves. She says Russia’s success at interfering in America’s last election has led to “a certain amount of buyer’s remorse”; that Putin is “really a short-term thinker”, and that the Russia government’s penchant for “three-dimensional chess” most closely resembles the social mechanisms of a bunch of teenage boys. Cutting corners because you feel you *have* to cheat is not how a powerful, secure oligarch / nation behaves…
Breaking News: Russia has been barred from the 2018 Winter Games for systematic doping. It’s a punishment without precedent in Olympic history. https://t.co/lbc4eQDC2i
— The New York Times (@nytimes) December 5, 2017
Your World Cup 2018 host, everyone. https://t.co/FsXg4k4W3l
— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) December 5, 2017
Forgotten in much of today’s reporting on Russia’s Olympic ban are the two Russian anti-doping officials who happened to die in the wake of the scandal https://t.co/k3zmDpZdQz
— Miriam Elder (@MiriamElder) December 6, 2017
Here’s an August Icarus backgrounder NYMag just reposted — “How Bryan Fogel Accidentally Documented the Russian Olympic Doping Scandal”:
… When director Bryan Fogel set out to make his jaw-dropping, absolutely insane doping documentary, Icarus, he didn’t know that he’d walk away with exclusive footage of what may go down as the biggest scandal in the history of sport. He was an amateur cyclist and second-time filmmaker in Los Angeles with a harebrained idea to try out doping himself, and do it on camera — kind of like Super Size Me of performance-enhancing drugs. He got his PEDs from an American doctor (they’re the same drugs used in controversial men’s anti-aging regimens), but had to look elsewhere for a scientist with a questionable moral compass who’d coach him in how to dope and get away with it. Fate brought him to a jolly, mustachioed guy in Russia with a penchant for shirtless Skype sessions. A guy who happened to be Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov. What Fogel didn’t know when he went to Moscow to trail his new friend around with a camera was that he’d wind up inside Russia’s national “anti-doping” laboratory, which was really a front for Russia’s state-run program to juice its Olympic athletes — with alleged ties to Vladimir Putin — of which Rodchenkov happened to be the chief architect.
Fogel’s realization that Rodchenkov isn’t just a guy in a Russian sports lab, but the guy (and possibly Putin’s fall guy), didn’t come till much later on. He also didn’t know that his footage from that day would become evidence of a criminal operation and an institutional conspiracy. Or that he’d be the one to buy Rodchenkov the plane ticket that got him to safe harbor in Los Angeles, just after two of his associates had dropped dead under suspicious circumstances and as Putin was denouncing Rodchenkov as an enemy of the state in the press. Or that he’d then take Rodchenkov’s mound of evidence to the New York Times, exposing Russia’s “dark-of-night” doping operation at the 2014 Sochi Winter Games — which involved Rodchencov’s working with the FSB (a Russian intelligence service, one of the successors to the KGB) to switch dirty urine samples for clean urine collected months earlier. All of this under the noses of World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) inspectors, and as Russia was winning the most medals of any country…
The IOC will redistribute Olympic medals for 2014 at the upcoming Winter Olympics in South Korea. https://t.co/fdzs0AjCm2
— Julia Ioffe (@juliaioffe) December 5, 2017
The dark joke going around is that Russia has a lot of recent experience sending out "competitors" in uniforms that don't have Russian flags on them.
— Garry Kasparov (@Kasparov63) December 5, 2017