Columns 2.8.2016 03:35 pm

Actions have consequences

Sibusiso Mkhwanazi

Sibusiso Mkhwanazi

I am not for one second saying that every single Russian athlete doped, but what I am suggesting is that they probably knew and did not blow the whistle.

Wifey and I drill it into the twins’ heads that actions have consequences, and this approach seems to work for all those involved. But, sometimes they are not always naughty at the same time, and as their parents, we have to weigh a few factors before coming up with a suitable course of discipline for the offender. Being twins, it is rare for the one not to know about the other’s misdemeanours, and this also plays a role.

Believe it or not, the very same thing is happening currently, as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) still has to decide on how the selection criteria will work for this week’s Rio Olympics. Of course, this after the Russians were embroiled in a doping scandal of Biblical proportions.

Seeing as how this doping was state-sponsored, how can the IOC then turn around and say that it will allow some of the Russian athletes to participate in the Olympics? That is tantamount (yes, I finally get to use that word I learnt as a comrade when I was an exile in our guestroom) to one of our twins saying they do not have a clue of what the other one is doing.

I am not for one second saying that every single Russian athlete doped, but what I am suggesting is that they probably knew and did not blow the whistle. Need we remind them of the Maria Sharapova case, where she swears she did not see the latest list of banned substances, which I am pretty sure was sent to her entire team, and they all claim not to have seen it? Ooh he eh! What do they discuss on Sharapova’s WhatsApp group, Pokemon Go tips?

As parents, we hope to raise honest boys who will have the courage to face the music, should they get themselves into whatever form of trouble. And oddly enough, we also want boys who are best friends and will have each other’s backs when we are no longer alive. This is the predicament that the IOC finds itself in, and it will not be an easy one. If they impose a blanket ban on all the athletes, this will be unfair to some, and if they select a few, this will send a message that entire countries can be involved in doping and get away with it.

The Rio Games are already facing difficulties such as the Zika virus, high levels of toxins in the drinking water and social unrest. The last thing the games need are a scandal that may end up looking like it was orchestrated by the governing body. Just imagine the first thought that will go through everyone’s mind should a Russian athlete win an event.

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