U.S. Olympians Say Lax Anti-Doping Rules of Russia, Other Nations Put Them at Disadvantage

AP Photo
The Associated Press

With new allegations of Russian athletes engaging in massive doping during the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, U.S. Olympians are renewing their call for a thorough investigation and are decrying the lax anti-doping rules for athletes of other countries saying tougher U.S. laws put U.S. competitors at a disadvantage.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has announced the date it will release the results of an investigation into allegations of state-sponsored doping with particular focus on Russian athletes. The probe, conducted by Canadian arbitrator Richard McLaren, is set to be released on July 15.

The U.S. Department of Justice also recently launched an investigation into the Russian doping scandal.

For its part, Russia has fully denied that it secretly sanctioned doping to allow its Olympians to have an edge at the world’s games.

Russia isn’t alone in charges of doping, of course. Such nations as Kenya and others have also had problems with cheating scandals and in each case it is because the countries involved have either turned a blind eye to doping or passed laws and rules that are easily evaded that lead to wider doping among athletes.

But according to many U.S. Olympians, the strict American anti-doping rules and the looser rules seen in other nations put American athletes at a disadvantage.

American bobsledder Steven Holcomb recently noted to SportingNews.com that U.S. rules are so tough they are “borderline a violation of human rights.”

“If you talk to any American Olympic hopeful, we go through hell with the way we’re treated with the USADA. It’s very strict and hard. It’s really a challenge to meet their standards,” Holcomb told the sports site. “At the Olympics we expect that everyone should be treated equally. Everyone should be going through the same testing process that we go through.”

Holcomb went on to insist that in order to “boost their name a little bit” other countries don’t hold their athletes to the same strict anti-doping regimen U.S. Olympians are forced to observe and that makes competing difficult.

In the end, American athletes are urging Olympics officials to give the doping problem a serious look in order to help level the playing field for them on the national scene.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at igcolonel@hotmail.com