The 2016 Rio Olympic Games may take place without Russia. The Russian national team of athletes is close to being banned from the competition due to an investigation conducted by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). According to “The New York Times,” the decision to ban Russia from the 2016 Rio Olympic Games would be “extraordinary, if not unprecedented.” The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) presented a report of nearly 100 pages, which details that the Russian athletes executed a “state-run doping program […] during the Sochi Olympics, and well before and afterward.”
The report contained data from 2011 and declared that the players took cocktails of performance-enhancing drugs that did not appear in urine samples, as they were covered up. The IOC concluded that the Russians’ actions are a “shocking and unprecedented attack on the integrity of sports” and therefore, the team should receive “the toughest possible sanctions available.”
The 2016 Olympic Games, in Rio, may take place without Russia, whose participation has remained in jeopardy since July 19. According to “Inforum,” the International Olympic Committee declared that it would “explore legal options” for banning the country from participating in this year’s games. Moreover, the IOC concluded that Russia would not be able to organize any sports event, not even the 2019 European Games and that no one from the Russian Sports Ministry would be accredited for the Rio Olympic Games.
Zika Issue Concerns Athletes
Besides the issue of banning Russia, the 2016 Rio Olympic Games is confronted with the Zika virus, which concerns some athletes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the virus is spread through the bite of an infected species of mosquito and there is no cure yet. Currently, Zika affects 58 countries in the Western Pacific, Southeast Asia, and in America. This list includes Brazil, the host of the 2016 Olympic Games.
The risk of catching Zika scared some of the athletes who were expected to be seen at the Rio Olympic Games. For example, tennis players, Milos Raonic and Simona Halep, pulled out of the competition due to health concerns. However, the World Health Organization (WHO), declared on July 19, there is a low risk of contracting the virus during the Rio Olympic Games.
According to “Newsweek,” WHO concluded that people should worry more about “sunstroke, diarrhea, and road accidents” than the Zika virus. Also, the organization stated that the Olympic Games are scheduled during Brazil’s winter months, which is a “low season for mosquito transmission.” Moreover, the Brazilian authorities continue to take control measures against the mosquitos, by spraying insecticides and setting up insect traps.
2016 Rio Olympic Games Facts
This year’s Olympic Games will be the 31st edition of the summer competition. The games will take place from August 5 – 21, and will engage over 10,000 athletes from more than 200 countries, who are member nations of the International Olympic Committee. However, the 2016 Rio Olympic Games may take place without Russia, due to doping issues.
According to the competition’s official website, there will be more than 300 events over the 19 days of the Olympic event. During the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, there will be over 190 different medals awarded from 42 athletic disciplines.
Also, September 7 – 18, the Paralympic Games will take place in Rio, which will engage more than 4,000 athletes from over 170 countries. They will compete in 528 events for 23 sport’s disciplines.
By Bianca-Ramona Dumitru
Edited by Jeanette Smith
CDC: About Zika – What we know
Inforum: IOC delays decision on banning Russia from Rio Olympics
Newsweek: YOUR RISK OF CATCHING ZIKA AT RIO OLYMPICS? IT’S ’LOW,’ SAYS THE WHO
Rio 2016: Olympic Games
Rio 2016: Paralympic Games
The New York Times: Russia May Face Olympics Ban as Doping Scheme Is Confirmed
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