The Madness of King Putin

Russia is banned from all major sporting events for the next four years for tampering with doping data. The ban includes winter and summer Olympics, World Cup 2022 in Qatar and hosting any sports events.

Doping is a minor issue for Russia President Vladimir Putin. His sportsmen have been doing it since 2015, and they could have received a ban a long time ago. But it is not a massive issue because its athletes can still compete only without a flag and national anthem as they did in 2018 at PyeongChang Olympics.

But yes, Russia is banned because it is Russia. But let’s be realistic the ban also has political connotations to it. Russia has for long been committing crimes on an international scale. It has waged wars against its neighbors, employed armies of hackers to interfere with elections including against countries it considers allies, armed militias to upset the U.S. and other Western superpowers, poisoned its former spies living in the U.K., and contributes to killing innocent civilians in Syria wars to name a few, and it sees no end in sight.

Russia’s reason for doing this is it desperately wants to interfere with the world order which it sees as not legitimate and will do anything to continue to destabilize. For instance, Putin’s desperation to see the end of the European Union or even NATO to win a battle and rise in economic or security power is one of his main intentions. The Brexit is an advantage for Putin to see E.U.'s decline and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is helping in that. Russia has for long tried to compete with it economically, and always failed. It also failed in building gas pipelines due to embargo imposed against it by the E.U. for the Ukraine attacks, but also because Russia doesn’t have money to build any new gas pipelines. Even militarily, it is not functioning. It is not able to sell its weapons because China and India have found a way to build its weapons. As for Syria where it lets the government troops use its arms for free, is another major hit against the military fund. As for NATO, it continues to upset him as it expands towards his front door. Selling weapons to a NATO member state, Turkey, it is one way for him to interfere with the alliance.

But the truth is Russia is one powerless dictatorship that pushes for wars against its neighbors so that Putin can look powerful at home and continue to get elected by his people who need victories at home to feel like they still matter. And they haven’t mattered since the dissolution of the USSR, for which Putin blames the U.S.

But this new blow to its sportsman may not sit well with proud Russians, and they most certainly will blame Putin for it. The growing backlash towards his leadership grows, and this new action by the World Anti-Doping Agency will only infuriate starving Russians.

And while Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev says that this is "continued anti-Russian hysteria", in any ordinary time, he could be right. Still, even he knows that Russia can no longer play a victim. It is Russia’s continued games against its neighbors or allies that will continue to see them banned from various events.

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