Russian Olympic Athletes Test Positive in Doping Retest

July 20, 2016

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. tamper / ˈtæm pər / (v.) – to change something to fake it
Example: They were accused of tampering with test results.

2. obstruction / əbˈstrʌk ʃən / (n.) – the act of getting in the way or preventing a process from continuing
Example: His refusal to get tested is an obstruction to the drug scandal investigation. 

3. trigger / ˈtrɪg ər / (v.) – to start
Example:  The argument triggered a fight between the two.

4. prejudicial /ˌprɛdʒ əˈdɪʃ əl / (adj.) – unfair or biased
Example: The event organizer’s decision to ban women from competition was a prejudicial move.

5. smear / smɪər / (n.) – the act of destroying a reputation
Example: The public believed the newspaper’s smear against the person.


Read the text below.
Fourteen Russian Olympic athletes were found guilty of doping, or using prohibited performance-enhancing drugs, during the 2008 Beijing Games.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) banned 31 athletes from the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics following positive results from a doping retest. The Russian Olympic Committee confirmed that 14 of them are Russian, 10 of whom are medalists. Most of the Russian athletes who tested positive competed in track and field events. 

Different countries and organizations took different actions in response to Russia's doping issue and its attempts at a cover-up. The US Department of Justice began an official inquiry into the actual doping scandal. The IOC and the World Anti-Doping Agency also opened investigations following claims that Russian samples were tampered to prevent banned substances from being discovered. UK Anti-Doping added pressure to ban the country from the Olympics after their repeated counts of obstruction. Finally, the International Association of Athletics Federations formed a team to decide if Russia would be allowed to compete in Rio de Janeiro.

The findings triggered multiple reactions from Russia. Sports minister Vitaly Mutko acknowledged that the results were an embarrassing yet prejudicial perception of the country's doping situation. While authorities admit to a doping problem, they deny allegations of state sponsorship and contributions to the doping scandal and describe such allegations as a smear campaign from the United States. Subsequently, the government initiated a reform of the country's anti-doping system.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you think Russia should be banned from the Rio Olympics even after fixing their doping problem? Why or why not?
·         What could force athletes to cheat? Name as many possible causes as you can.

Discussion B

·         What activities outside of sports also have cheating?
·         How should athletes who cheat be punished?

July 20, 2016