This year’s Olympics have been difficult for the Russian team, especially following the state-sponsored doping scandal.
Someone illegally gained access to Yulia Stepanova’s electronic World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) account. Stepanova is a track and field athlete for Russia, and she was the whistleblower that drew attention to Russia’s state-sponsored doping program. The hack allowed the perpetrator to gain access to the part of her account that shows her registered location, and Stepanova is hiding in North America following her helping reveal the doping program. No other athlete accounts were accessed.
In addition, American swimmer Lilly King caused controversy when she called out Russian swimmer Yulia Efimova for her previous ban for doping in 2013. Efimova stated that the fallout from the criticism was “a nightmare.” Throughout the Games so far, Efimova is booed regularly in the arena. King stated that she does not regret her comments because she believes that this is an issue that needs more attention.
Track and field’s governing body banned the only Russian track and field athlete from competing in the Olympics. The International Association of Athletics Federations told Darya Klishina, a long jumper, that she would be unable to compete based on new information it received. One piece of evidence that she was doping is scratch marks on the glass of the testing specimen that are caused by opening the tamper-proof container.
Near the beginning of the Olympics, the IOC announced that all Russians would be banned from the Paralympic Games next month following the reveal of the state-sponsored doping system. The International Paralympic Committee found that several anti-doping samples were compromised. Russia’s National Paralympic Committee has until August 28 to appeal the decision.
However, Russia is not the only country with athletes getting caught doping. A female swimmer from China was caught with a banned substance in her testing sample. She tested positive for the diuretic hydrochlorothiazide, and this makes her the first athlete in the sport to fail a test during the Games. The swimmer applied to have her B sample tested and will have a hearing on the issue.
Russian athletes have faced many issues in the wake of the state-sponsored doping scandal.