For just over two years, orchestrated revelations and allegations of Russian doping have been grabbing the headlines. An international media campaign is in full swing, attempting to question the participation of Russian athletes in international competitions such as the current 2018 Winter Olympics. Canadian individuals such as Dick Pound, a longtime IOC executive, and law professor Richard McLaren, agencies such as the Canadian Olympic Committee and the CBC and sports media are playing a prominent role in the US-inspired offensive which aims to isolate Russia, dehumanize its athletes and monopolize international sport. The claiming of a moral and ethical high ground is self-righteous indeed, coming from a country where “tanking” by its professional hockey and basketball teams – the deliberate losing of games in order to claim a high draft position – is presented as a norm. For the information of readers, we are printing a 2017 commentary by US sports attorney and scholar RON KATZ* in Forbes that disputes the evidence produced by the learned professor and the process.
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The Russian Sports Minister recently claimed that the so-called McLaren report, which provided the basis for the banning of Russian athletes from the Olympics and Paralympics, would not stand up to legal criticism. Using as an example the U.S. legal system, in which I have worked for 45 years, I agree. The McLaren report, formally called The Independent Person Report (IPR), lacks the basic due process required in the U.S. Court system. Continue reading