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Rob.

Russian positives?

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Plenty of Russians online claiming GB only finished 2nd in the medal table because of their partial ban. It struck me almost everything that's wrong with international sport at the moment can be traced back to the actions of this country. Overblown costs, corruption, and anti-gay propaganda in Sochi, drug scandals, whistleblowers in hiding, lost computers and all the FIFA shenanigans around 2018 etc.

I don't like to judge a whole country en masse, but finding it difficult not to here, mostly because I can't find a single Russian who won't defend everything they've done. Many claim it's a all a conspiracy concocted by Reedie and Coe...

So, to calm us all down, are there any positives they've given sport in general recently (apart from in their hidden urine samples)?

Edited by Rob.

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I don't like generalising, but the answer to your question can only be: No, it hasn't.

The reactions you mentioned clearly show that, as does the behaviour of our wonderful new IOC member Isinbayeva, who apparently claimed the pole vault gold without her competing isn't really worth the same.

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A bit strange that these people are so sure they would have finished 2nd on the medal table if their full team had been allowed to participate. After all, they still finished 4th behind GB in London when all the Russians were (presumably) there! I guess logic and reason often take a big hit when ill-will and jealousy dominate the emotions.

Totally agree with you with about the nasty vibes that have been emanating from that country since Putin got into his stride. Alas, the brief honeymoon years of Gorbachev and dear old Boris Yeltsin when Russia seemed to be finally coming to an understanding with the West seem to be well and truly gone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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To be fair, I try to separate the Russian government and establishment from the Russian people. I've met a few of the latter, and they are perfectly like us, wanting the same things - good housing, great sport, a safe, secure future for their families and so on. The problem is that many of them have been raised to believe that the 1990s were a time of chaos, in which the order of the Soviet era disappeared and Russia was made look weak internationally. Rather than seeing him as the autocrat he is, they actually feel Putin has restored Russia's standing in the world. The problems with semi-alcoholic Yeltsin et al precipitated the fall of democracy.

I would, however, distinguish between Putin before his first presidential term and his current term. In the first, he seemed pragmatic, diplomatic and went easy on the Cold War rhetoric. Sure, it seemed clear that he was no clean-cut democrat, but someone we could do business with (and yes, despite Chechnya and South Ossetia). In hindsight, that may have been too optimistic. Anyhow, this is far too complex to explain in one post. Suffice to say that Putin is the latest manifestation of the Russian need for security and protection - harkening back to the days when the country first signed a non-aggression pact and then was attacked in a brutal war of conquest by Nazi Germany. Hence, the post-war expansion into Eastern Europe and the aggressive foreign policy during the Cold War years. Thankfully, Gorbachev's liberal tendencies and Soviet horrific economy in the 1980s enabled change. Alas, it was all for naught.

I did like their rhythmic gymnastics team: They performed beautifully, and I think it may very well be one of the few sports which they may not have tainted with state-organized doping. As for Isinbayeva: She's a douche. Fortunately, she is only in office for as long as her mandate on the Athletes Commission lasts. By the time it expires, I suspect a new IOC President will have taken charge anyway. His name may very well be Lord Coe, and then the game's up.

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Coe isn't even an IOC member. There is no way that Coe would be able to become a member and build-up enough connections to dethrone Bach. el Moutawakel is currently the favoured successor.

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36 minutes ago, Faster said:

Coe isn't even an IOC member. There is no way that Coe would be able to become a member and build-up enough connections to dethrone Bach. el Moutawakel is currently the favoured successor.

Not yet, but as the head of the IAAF, I sincerely doubt that Bach will be able to exclude him forever...El Moutawakel is not gonna be the IOC President. She's Moroccan, Muslim and a woman, three strikes against her in an old boys club still dominated by elderly and middle-aged white males from First World nations. and of a primarily Christian denomination.

It's unfair, but the IOC hasn't sufficiently changed in its membership structure to give any reason to prioritize an El Moutawakel candidacy over Coe's. Both were athletes, but Coe has the added power base of the IAAF and has actually organized a stunningly successful Summer Olympics. And whilst she has been a vice president of the IOC, her time as chairwoman of the 2016 Evaluation Commission isn't exactly a strike in her favour. Don't get me wrong - it'd be awesome to see a woman from a Muslim-Arab country be the IOC President, I just don't think that the Committee has become structurally liberal enough to merit such an expectation.

I think Lord Coe has proven during his time as London 2012 bid leader that he is able to charm, coax and persuade his way into the hearts and minds of any stakeholder he needs to get what he wants.

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4 hours ago, plusbrilliantsexploits said:

Not yet, but as the head of the IAAF, I sincerely doubt that Bach will be able to exclude him forever...El Moutawakel is not gonna be the IOC President. She's Moroccan, Muslim and a woman, three strikes against her in an old boys club still dominated by elderly and middle-aged white males from First World nations. and of a primarily Christian denomination.

It's unfair, but the IOC hasn't sufficiently changed in its membership structure to give any reason to prioritize an El Moutawakel candidacy over Coe's. Both were athletes, but Coe has the added power base of the IAAF and has actually organized a stunningly successful Summer Olympics. And whilst she has been a vice president of the IOC, her time as chairwoman of the 2016 Evaluation Commission isn't exactly a strike in her favour. Don't get me wrong - it'd be awesome to see a woman from a Muslim-Arab country be the IOC President, I just don't think that the Committee has become structurally liberal enough to merit such an expectation.

I think Lord Coe has proven during his time as London 2012 bid leader that he is able to charm, coax and persuade his way into the hearts and minds of any stakeholder he needs to get what he wants.

We used to have a thread around here about Coe and his IOC chances. Never mind, let's detour in this thread for a bit.

I agree it's inevitable he'll be an IOC member. Apart from the fact of the stature of the man himself in Olympic circles, which would make him a very likely candidate, his IAAF role makes that virtually signed, sealed delivered. If it does't happen at the next IOC session, the one after for sure (though I doubt it would be that long).

As for IOC president? I think time is against him on that one. Unfortunately IMO - I think he'd make a good one. But first he'll need that entree into the IOC. Then a few years (four) before he'd be able to get into the EB, a few more years for a vice-presidency and then possibly starting to get a bit too long in the tooth for a pitch at the top job. 

Actually, looking at that, it would depend on how long old Bach hangs around. I can't see Bach wanting to let go easily. I imagine after his initial eight years, he'll probably wanna do another eight (is that still allowed?) - I wouldn't see him happy with a "mere" 12 years like Rogge. That might be enough time for Coe to set himself up to be a more likeable successor to Bach. Who knows? It's folly predicting politics ahead, especially IOC politics, but I guess that's what we do.

A female president, especially a non-Euro one, would likely be a really good move if the IOC was serious about trying to change its image. Like you, though, I'm not sure if I could see the crusty old IOC going for El Moutawakel. I'd be happy enough to be proven wrong though.

Edited by Sir Rols

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IOC rules for presidency are 8 years plus another four max, that's why Rogge had to go after 12 anyway.

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5 minutes ago, StefanMUC said:

IOC rules for presidency are 8 years plus another four max, that's why Rogge had to go after 12 anyway.

Thanks for clarifying that - I wasn't sure at all. Yeah, that makes the schedule all that bit tighter for Coe. 

So what does that mean? We've go another nine years of Bach?

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