Perhaps you have watched some of the Winter Olympic games from South Korea. Much of the focus beyond the games themselves has been on the attendance of representatives from North Korea and the accompanying discussion on North and South Korea uniting as a country at some point. But prior to that, we learned that Russia was banned from participating in these Olympic games.
It was discovered after a lengthy investigation by the World Anti-Doping Agency that Russia had cheated by tampering with drug screening test samples from athletes. So, the International Olympic Committee kicked Russia out of the games. But wait, we see Russian athletes, participating under a neutral flag and labeled as Olympic Athletes from Russia or OARS. There are more than one hundred and sixty OARS in these games.
The idea was to punish the country but not the athletes. The I-O-C compromised on the punishment. I can see why you wouldn’t want to punish the athletes, but why not just strip Russia of the previous titles and medals? There would probably be some innocent athletes affected with that move, but it would drive the point home better to the Russian cheaters.
We take this approach when colleges are found guilty and yes, it does affect current athletes while allowing offenders to go unpunished, but it can work. Labeling the current participant as Olympic athletes from Russia will have no effect on the history books and probably won’t dissuade the Soviets from trying to cheat in the future. Let’s beat them fair and square and call the Russians who they are.