Spite the records: how the doping scandal threatens Russia's sports

The list of Russian athletes found guilty of doping has grown to seven people. Sponsors disclaim contracts, sports functionaries blame the machinations of competitors, and the deputies demand resignations in the Ministry of Sports.
Origin source
Who is to blame in what happened with the Russian athletes?

Athletes whose samples were found banned drug meldonium, put forward a different version of the causes of the incident. Maria Sharapova cites inattention while viewing an email, Skating Union - the machinations of competitors, the All-Russian Volleyball Federation - that doping tests showed only traces meldonium, which was used before the ban.

Regardless of the circumstances of the release of the substance in the athlete responsible for the use of doping products it carries only the athlete. "In accordance with the principle of strict liability does not matter why and how the Prohibited Substance entered the body of the athlete. Athletes are responsible for what happens to their body, "- said in WADA rules.

Russian MPs believe that much more guilty. Officials irresponsible attitude to the issue and did not even have representatives in the WADA, there was no normal cooperation and dialogue, said RBC member of the Duma Committee on Sports Vasily Shestakov. It Ministerstvo sport was at least in a timely manner to inform the athletes and health professionals of changes to the lists of drugs, he wrote the Communist Sergei Obukhov in its request addressed to the Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and Vladimir Putin, demanding to take disciplinary action against sports officials. Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said that the responsibility should bear the coaches, doctors, physiotherapists and federation leaders. The captain of the Russian national women's tennis player Anastasia Myskina in the conversation with "R-Sport" also noted that the blame for the situation and not Maria Sharapova and her team.

How to react to the doping scandal the Russian authorities?

The only thing in solidarity and in the Kremlin and in the government and in legislative bodies - is that there are signs of anti-Russian conspiracy. In late November last year, United Russia Ildar Gilmutdinov introduced to the State Duma a bill on criminal responsibility for inducing a trainer or doctor athletes for doping (a fine up to 500 thousand. Rub.). It was also proposed to criminalize cheating sportsmena coach or a doctor, it is expressed in the transfer "of substances prohibited for use in sport" (a fine of up to 2 million rubles.). Prof. yl Duma Committee recommended to finalize the text of the author, but the government, according to the deputy, sent a negative review. Deputy withdrew the bill on March 9.
Nevertheless criminalize doping deputies gathered at an emergency meeting to discuss the relevant committee. But neither the deputies nor apparatchiks did not have time to prepare materials to the committee, so the meeting was moved, I told RBC source in the Duma Committee on Sports.

When the final decision will be taken and how they threaten Russia's sport?

The first hearing in the case of Maria Sharapova will be held on March 23 in London, where the headquarters of the International Tennis Federation (ITF). The independent tribunal will consider all the circumstances and make a decision on the punishment of athletes. The standard punishment includes suspension (in the case of Sharapova maximum term - four years) and return an athlete won prizes in competitions in which she used etc.Ping. Tribunal decision can be challenged by WADA or by the athlete in International Sports Arbitration in Lausanne (Switzerland). The head of WADA Craig Reedy has already expressed the view that an adequate penalty would be disqualification Sharapova for a period of one year. In this case, Maria will miss the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in the summer of 2016. Cases of doping in professional tennis are quite rare compared to athletics, cycling and weightlifting. In most cases, the disqualification does not exceed one year. Longest suspension was applied to a little-known American tennis player Wayne Odessniku in 2014 - he was suspended from tennis for 15 years for the re-use of anabolic steroids detected.
Of all the athletes whose samples were identified meldonium, in the most difficult situation is a young skater Paul Pavel Kulizhnikov. 21-year-old world champion in his career has received a disqualification for doping: the 2012 junior champion championship Pavel Kulizhnikov caught the application methylhexaneamine and was banned for two years. We provefirst relapse threatens him with a lifetime disqualification.

How to react to the scandal the Western media?

The world's media have questioned the sincerity Sharapova claims that she did not know about the ban meldonium. "The whole 2015 was meldonium Watch List WADA, - reminds the editor of the sports department of the British The Guardian Owen Gibson. - Moreover, similar agency sources say that the [athletes] had been duly informed of the changes in the list of banned drugs and certainly not limited to the communication of electronic correspondence, which Sharapova could not read. "

Before each competition tennis players call voluntarily compile a list of drugs they are taking. "Do Sharapova Indicated meldonium? If not, why? If yes, then had to find someone who would immediately drew attention to it ", - says Gibson. In general, according to the journalist, a serious problem for the sport is often barely perceptible difference between the use of a drug for health reasons or to improve the results.

Sports columnist blog The Guardian Marina Hyde wrote that Sharapova case is not unique: about 2.2% of athletes at WADA data, take meldonium. "We must either accept that drug taking as doping to improve performance, or to recognize that the global sports suffer from angina pandemic" - says Hyde.

The German Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung also inclined to believe that the number of scandals in the sport does not allow to consider athletes found guilty of doping, the victims of the situation: "Now many believe that doping also inseparable from athletics as drugs from the rock 'n' roll" - FAZ writes columnist Evi Simeoni. Sharapova complained of heart problems, which means that over the years - both before and after the ban meldonium - used drug is to obtain an advantage over rivals, says Simeoni.

US The New York Times notes that in contrast to previous scandals with the stars of the first magnitude sponsors quickly turned away from Sharapova. Just four years ago, Nike sportswear manufacturer defended golfer Tiger Woods and basketball player Kobe Bryant, also found guilty of doping, and remindsbuilding. Contact tactic in the case of Sharapova, according to the publication, due to the fact that the career of the athlete has already passed its peak and its "marketing opportunities" are reduced in the eyes of sponsors.

At what cost to athletes doping scandals?

Personal sponsorship contracts have a world-class superstar. The loss of advertising contracts because of the scandal - a frequent phenomenon in the sport. American cyclist Lance Armstrong after allegations of doping in 2012, lost contracts of Nike, brewing company Anheuser-Busch, manufacturer Trek bikes and other companies totaling at least $ 75 million in American baseball player Barry Bonds in 2007, admitted that he inadvertently consumed steroids. - this ended its work with MasterCard, KFC and financial services company Charles Schwab (loss athlete amounted to about $ 28 million). Golfer Tiger Woods was at the center of the scandal in 2009, when he admitted in numerous adultery. From the athlete refused to Accenture, AT & T, Gillette, and its revenues declined by approximately $ 50 million per year. Interestingly, the company has not worked Nike Conts with Woods, but has reduced its annual $ 20 million contract twice.

Sharapova could lose the prize for taking part in the Australian Open (Australian Open) -. About $ 298 thousand Moreover, the suspension of cooperation with it already announced Nike (in 2010, the parties entered into a ten-year contract worth $ 70 million, most of all, the biggest contract athletes ), a manufacturer of luxury watches Tag Heuer (contract expired in December 2015, negotiations were under way to extend it, but the amounts were not disclosed) and automotive group Porsche (the contract was signed in 2014 for three years, it was estimated at $ 2 million per year). At the moment, Sharapova signed a promotional contract with American Express, Avon, Evian and Head - the company is not allowed to comment on the doping scandal.

Other Russian athletes who have positive doping test, do not have personal sponsorship contracts were identified. The basis of their earnings amount to the prize money, which they receive for their participation and achieving results in the commercial starts. Sponsorship contracts have Russian sports federations are responsible for the preparation of national teams to coevnovaniyam and carrying out domestic competition. In most cases, the sponsors are the major Russian companies. Thus, the Russian Volleyball Federation sponsor the "Gazprom", VTB, VEB, "Siberian cement" MOESK and other companies. "We do not plan to refuse to cooperate with any of the Russian sports federations," - said RBC's first deputy president VTB Vasily Titov, without explaining at the same time, will be adjusted financing program of Russian sport by the bank.

The representative of Samsung, which has a sponsorship deal with the Russian Tennis Federation, declined to comment on future actions of the company.