On December 5, the International Olympics Committee ruled that Russia will be suspended from the 2018 Winter Olympic Games because of doping.
The country had two scandals back in the 2014 and 2016 Olympic Games, and now they are paying the price for their previous actions.
Doping is the act of illegally using drugs or other substances in order to enhance athletic performance.
Performance enhancing drugs have long been a problem in sports and local athletes here at Michigan State say the cheat isn’t worth the risk.
Michigan State varsity rower Zach Klucevek explains why he thinks athletes may feel the need to utilize performance enhancers.
“I think usually it’s athletes that see themselves in a lower tier will start to use things that will boost them up into the next tier.”
Klucevek stresses that with hard enough work and a little determination, athletes don’t have to go down that path.
“I just know that if one of our teammates was doing it, I would be really, really disappointed,” Klucevek said.
Men’s rowing assistant coach, Andrew Lennard, said that if athletes do use performance enhancing drugs, then it inevitably falls back on the coach.
“If you are putting so much pressure and stress on them to perform that they feel the need to go above and beyond the legal methods to get that high performance, then you’re failing those athletes,” Lennard said.
Lennard says that the athletes that do participate in doping should be banned, but those that didn’t should not be punished.
“You feel bad for the amount of work and effort that they put in training their entire lives for this moment and now no longer getting to represent their country,” Lennard said.
Although clean Russian athletes will be able to participate in the 2018 Winter Olympics, they will not be able to represent the country of Russia.
Instead, they will participate under a neutral status.